Corvallis to the Sea Trail

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When will the trail be open for use?

A. The eastern half of the route, from Corvallis to Big Elk Campground west of Harlan was opened in June 2017. The western half is currently under construction as a hiking trail and is expected to be opened in early 2020. Several back-road bicycle routes have been proposed for the western half. Please visit the restrictions and permits pages for additional information.

Q. How can I help?

A. We hold monthly meetings on the 4th Tuesday of the month at Philomath City Hall from 7 to 9 p.m. Check the news and meetings page for meeting details and the outings page for other activities. Contact us for further information at P.O. Box 1562, Corvallis, OR 97339-1562 or email info@c2ctrail.org.

Q. What activities are taking place?

A. We are requesting that people interested in trail building and trail maintenance take free trail training classes that are conducted by various private groups and government agencies. We are increasing our own training of volunteers. We also go out occasionally to keep our proposed trail route flagged or to do maintenance work on existing trails. Our annual series of Show-and-Tell hikes serve to show potential volunteers the routing and the work we do to keep the route marked. Ask to be put on our e-mail list and we will inform you of registration for these weekend courses or of our outings.

We are very interested in putting together a broad educational package for the trail. This will include gathering information on the history of the land along the route (homesteads, transportation, logging, historic fires) and this requires interaction with timber companies, Federal and State agencies, local history centers, and individuals. The Oregon Forest Resources Institute has offered to assist us in working with timber interests to develop materials on forestry practices. We are contemplating the content and format of trail guides and maps, including materials on geology, flora and fauna, and climate.

Q. Landowners often ask “won’t I be liable for damages if someone is injured while on my land?”

A. Landowners who grant recreational access are granted immunity from liability by state statute (see ORS 105.676-105.700) (http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/105.682). This immunity applies regardless of where injuries occur or what the injured party is doing. This is not true on private lands where access is merely prohibited.

Q. Won’t increased fire danger be a problem?

A. Trail closures or restrictions will be put in effect at periods of high fire danger just as are done today with public and private forest roads. Because this a non-motorized trail, fire risk from exhaust systems and sparks from motor vehicles will not be increased. Since smoking is typically not a lifestyle choice for hikers, equestrians and cyclists, the risk of fire from this activity is almost non-existent. Simply having more eyes, not speeding by, can help detect fires in early stages and this would aid in early reporting and suppression. Camping would be allowed only on public lands. Campfires would be allowed only in improved campgrounds on public lands, and currently only the Big Elk Campground near Harlan and Brian Booth State Park at Ona Beach would qualify.

Q. Won’t trail users conflict with timber management activities?

A. Obviously there are some activities that are not consistent with the immediate presence of trail users. During our explorations we have been in the proximity of timber felling, yarding of downed logs, log hauling, spraying, and slash burning. These activities are limited to rather narrow windows of time so that temporary closure, or detour, of the route is feasible. We will coordinate with timber companies to close trail segments during these periods, provide them with closure signs as needed, and post the closure notices on our website (perhaps also providing means for the timber companies to post closure information directly to our website).

Q. How will you prevent vandalism and litter?

A. In our experience the type of individual who will use a trail like this packs light, has little to leave behind, and practices a “leave no trace” recreational style. We are taking this a step further with our P.L.A.N.T. program (Please Leave Absolutely No Trace) described on the restrictions page. In fact, day hikers often bring back a plastic bag filled with beverage cans, bottles, and similar trash left behind by (usually) motor vehicle occupants. Indeed, the worst litter and vandalism usually occur where motor vehicles access remote road spurs. The presence of trail users should actually reduce litter along the trail route.