While every corner of Oregon features hiking trails, a couple of long-distance trails deserve special notice. For 362 miles, from the Columbia River to the California border, the Oregon Coast Trail hugs the beaches and headlands, leading hikers into intimate contact with some of the most beautiful landscapes anywhere. Most of the trail runs through public lands, though some portions traverse easements on private parcels and the trail follows the highway and city streets in a number of places. The only coastal long-distance treks separated from U.S. 101 are the 30 miles between Seaside and Manzanita, and between Bandon and Port Orford.
A free trail map and directory are available from the Oregon State Parks information center (800/551-6949, www.oregonstateparks.org). This pamphlet makes clear where this trail crosses open beaches, forested headlands, the shoulder of the Coast Highway, and even city streets in some towns. Be sure to bring water, particularly on northerly sections of the trail, as much of the trek is on beachfront away from a potable supply.
The other long-distance trail through the state is the Oregon portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from southern California to the Canadian border. The PCT through Oregon is exceptionally scenic and not too hard for sturdy backpackers; much of it runs along ridgelines, avoiding constant ups and downs.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel