Sunday, October 27, 2013

Visiting Yachats Oregon: Local Trails

View from the 804 Trail in the morning.
Yachats, on Oregon's Central Coast, is so much more than a quaint ocean side village. Stay awhile and venture out on the trails and you will soon see why Yachats is an excellent example of the diversity of Oregon Coast natural habitats. From amazing cliffs with crashing waves to woodsy hikes where you can see ancient Sitka spruce, trails will bring you to some surprising areas not far from your Yachats accommodations.

Historic 804 Trail: If you are staying at an ocean side hotel such as The Adobe or The Fireside Inn, you'll be right on the historic 804 Trail along the cliffs. This trail was most likely a footpath for the native people who lived in the area. Later it was known as County Road 804. This included a seven mile stretch of beach between Yachats and Waldport accessible only at low tide. It was the settler's route between the Yachats River valley and Waldport's Alsea Bay. This was used until the 1930's and the advent of Hwy 101. Now it is one of the most scenic walks you can enjoy in the Yachats area.

Access the 804 Trail from the sandy beach at the north end of Yachats or Smelt Sands State Park and Yachats State Park to the south. Or just go behind one of those ocean view motels and join the walkers. Bring your camera. And, dogs are allowed.

Amanda Trail: Until recently there was not much being said about the removal of the Native peoples from this coastal ares so that settlement could take place. The people of Yachats have done much to raise awareness of this tragedy. Near the cemetery (King St) there is an informational board that explains the history of settlement and the effect on the Native peoples.

This trail is dedicated in memory of Amanda, a blind Coos woman who suffered injustices during the 1860's reservation era. This trail runs from a trailhead on Yachats Ocean Road, south to the Amanda Statue. If you continue south you'll reach the summit of Cape Perpetua. This is a strenuous hike so you'll need to wear your hiking gear and carry your 10 essentials. History of the Amanda Trail. Dogs are permitted.
Grandmother Spruce in the nature preserve

Ya'Xaik Trail: This is a lovely trail that begins at the east end of Diversity Lane (apartment complex just off Hwy 101) and will take you through some lovely second growth forest. Part of the trail goes through The Gerdemann's Botanic Preserve public trail. There you can see a "Grandmother Spruce" and large leaf Rhododendrons. It is a beautiful place with a trickling creek running through it.

Although much has been done to make this trail easy to traverse, it still can be slippery. It does take you uphill before going down back to the street, so hiking boots and a stick are helpful. Dogs are not allowed in the Botanic Preserve.

You might guess that this trail is also dedicated to the Native people that once inhabited the area. Shell middens mark their use of the coast as a source of food and many of the local trails were used for seasonal movement and trade. More on this beautiful trail.

Yachats Trail Brochure and Map
Yachats Coastal Gems Walking Club