Oregon Coast Trail

COVID-19 and the Oregon Coast Trail

May 12, 2021

Hiking the Oregon Coast Trail looks a bit closer to normal after more than a year of COVID-19-related closures along the route. State parks along the trail are fully open, or nearly so. Most hiker/hiker camps reopened May 1; all will be open by June 1.

Even so, it’s important to remember that the virus is still spreading in Oregon and some counties along the trail have higher risk levels and more restrictions. Here’s how you can enjoy the OCT and help limit the spread of the virus.

  • Bring a face covering and wear it in congested areas where you can't maintain distance from others, even if you’re vaccinated. 
  • Have a Plan B. If you get to the trailhead and it’s too crowded to maintain safe physical distance, head elsewhere. Parking outside designated areas can be unsafe and may result in a citation or tow.
  • Plan a self-supported hike. It’s important that you bring what you need to minimize resupply stops.
  • Keep your risk low. Accidents place unnecessary stress on first responders, search and rescue teams and hospital staff, and could put them at risk of exposure.

COVID-19 Resources

• For more information on physical distancing and planning for your hike, see our COVID-19 Day Use Guide
• Answers to frequently asked questions are on our COVID-19 Response page
• A list of closures and reduced services at state park facilities can be found on our status map

About the Trail

The majesty of Oregon's 362-mile coastline unfolds around every bend along the Oregon Coast Trail, also known as the OCT. Hikers cross sandy beaches, meander through forest-shaded corridors, traverse majestic headlands and pass through 28 coastal towns.

Oregon Coast Trail sign along forested trail

Most of the route is on the beach, although some segments wind through state parks or public lands. Generous landowners provide trail easements for portions of trail on private property. About 10 percent of the trail is on the shoulders of U.S. 101, county roads and city streets.

Maps

These maps, updated in summer 2020, are for informational purposes and may not reflect current ground conditions. The trail route may change due to safety issues, road closures or detours. 

Section 1: Columbia River to Oswald West 

Section 2: Oswald West to Cape Lookout

Section 3: Cape Lookout to Lincoln City

Section 4: Lincoln City to Waldport

Section 5: Waldport to Florence

Section 6: Florence to Reedsport

Section 7: Reedsport to Bandon

Section 8: Bandon to Port Orford

Section 9: Port Orford to Cape Sebastian

Section 10: Cape Sebastian to California

Be Prepared

Hiker/Biker campsites are at nearly every state park on the coast. The tent sites are first-come, first served and are near water, restrooms and showers. Visit Find a Park for locations and cost. Camping may also be available at parks managed by other agencies. 

Beach camping is allowed in some areas, but please be aware of the tides and camp above the high tide line. Camping is prohibited within most major city limits and within or adjacent to state parks. Camping is also prohibited in western snowy plover habitat areas during nesting season, March 15 - Sep. 15.

Beach fires are not allowed near driftwood piles or vegetation. Additional fire restrictions may be in place — watch for signs and check Special Notices during fire season for alerts.

Know the tides

Some areas of the trail are accessible only during certain seasons and/or only during low tide. Check the tide times at tides-forecast.com. Visit our Safe Ways to Explore the Beach for more information.

Watch for nesting birds

Some Oregon beaches are protected nesting grounds for a small shorebird called the western snowy plover. During nesting season (March 15- Sept. 15), hikers on protected beaches must walk on wet sand. Also prohibited: dogs (even on a leash), camping and beach fires. Watch for signs. Visit oregon.gov/plovers for maps and more information.

Trail closures and gaps

All closures and alerts on sections of trail that pass through state parks are posted in Special Notices. You will need to know the name of the park the trail passes through (labeled on our maps, above). Some sections pass through public lands operated by the U.S. Forest Service — check fs.usda.gov for information and closures on these sections. 

Some sections — about 40 miles, or 10 percent of the entire route — are disconnected, inconvenient, unsafe or inaccessible during certain seasons. These are identified as "gap section" in our maps. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon Department of Transportation, federal land managers, local governments and trail advocates are working together to close these gaps. Check back for updates. 

Some parks are open for day-use and camping, with reduced services. Check the Park Status Map and FAQ for details.