Photos and Story by Bonnie Henderson
CoastWalk Oregon 2023 was last weekend, and it’s hard to pick which of many moments to highlight: the walk Friday on Bayocean Spit and up to the top of Cape Meares in brilliant sunshine? Scott’s ingenious ladder climb, getting us over the rock ledge with dry feet? Walking with the wind at our backs Saturday morning as Cape Lookout loomed ahead—and then walking to the top of the cape and, for some, out to Wells Cove for more views? Sunday’s train ride and the beach walk where everyone arrived dressed for rain—and got nothing more than some drizzle and a light shower or two?
For some of us, the crowning moment was walking north on Rockaway Beach with the Rainforest Reserve on the far horizon—a landmark acquisition that donors such as CoastWalk participants helped to fund.
“The intention of CoastWalk Oregon isn’t just to raise support for habitat conservation, it’s also to connect people to the lands and waters of Oregon’s North Coast,” NCLC Development Director Kassia Nye says. “We are inextricably linked to the forests, wetlands, prairies and beaches we encounter throughout this event. To walk in the cool shade of ancient trees or trek on the sandy beaches adjacent to the mighty Pacific Ocean, the event offers a chance to more deeply understand the impact we have on our environment, appreciate the impact it has on us, and support the well-being of people, plants and wildlife because of that connection.”
Mark your calendar now for CoastWalk 2024: we’ll be walking the Oregon Coast Trail between Ecola State Park (or Cannon Beach) and Nehalem Bay from Sept. 20 to 22. Keep an eye on the CoastWalk Oregon website and NCLC’s monthly enewsletter for more details around the first of the year.
Thanks not only to our participants, many of them multi-year repeaters, but to our volunteers who work year-round to make CoastWalk a fun and safe event. And thanks to our event sponsors who allow us to put more of your participation fee to work conserving the wild Oregon coast: