Cascade Head confusion

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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Cascade Head confusion

Post by bunnyslayer » January 2nd, 2021, 11:32 am

Hi, Y'all,

I had a couple of questions about the trails on Cascade Head, just north of Lincoln City, and was hoping someone familiar with the area could clear it up a bit. I'm planning a section hike of the Oregon Coast Trail for when things are back to normal, and I'm trying to get a clear picture of what's possible in this area. The official guide says to roadwalk 101 south from Neskowin, turn on FR 1861, then take Cascade Head Tr. 1310 back down to 101. I'm trying to see if a more appealing way is possible.

First, all the guides stress that FR 1861, accessing several of the trailheads from Hwy. 101, is closed Jan. 1 to July 15. Is that for cars only, or does it also apply to access on foot? And does that closure apply to certain trails, as well, or just the road?

Second, some maps, including GaiaGPS, show a trail going to Hart's Cove from the north, from the south end of Neskowin at the end of South Beach Road. I saw a couple of mentions that you needed to have some gate code to get to it. Just trying to figure out if this is even possible. For someone hiking the OCT, coming this way from Neskowin seems a lot more pleasant that the current suggested route that requires some walking on 101.

Lastly, William L. Sullivan, in his descriptions of Cascade head in his Oregon Coast book, shows a trail going north from FR 1861, in addition to trail 1310 heading south. This would reduce the amount of road walking, but his map of the hike is the only place I see that trail. Does it exist?

Thanks in advance for any clarity you can offer!

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Re: Cascade Head confusion

Post by adamschneider » January 2nd, 2021, 3:32 pm

The entire area that's part of Siuslaw National Forest, including trails AND roads, is closed from January 1 through July 15. The only exception is that you're allowed to hike on the north-south "Cascade Head Rainforest Trail."

Here's a good map of the closures: ... 533735.pdf

Yes, there IS an unofficial trail that connects Hart's Cove to South Beach Road. It's on OpenStreetMap (which Gaia uses to build its maps).

And yes, there is also a trail (part of the OCT) that goes north from Forest Road 1861. From the faint tracks on the Strava heatmap, it appears to leave the road just a little to the east of Trail #1310. I just added it to OSM.

Based on the "area closure" in that PDF map, I assume both of these unmarked trails are also closed in the spring. [EDIT: bobcat says the trail between FR 1861 and 101 is open all year.]
Last edited by adamschneider on January 2nd, 2021, 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cascade Head confusion

Post by bobcat » January 2nd, 2021, 4:17 pm

The Cascade Head Rainforest Trail #1310 north of FR 1861 was abandoned but TKO has worked on it the past couple of years. It was due to reopen summer of 2020, but that was delayed because of COVID. The trail is pretty much good to go though, but I don't know when they plan to reopen it now. The same right-of-way during the closure season will apply to it once it is officially reopened, just stay on the trail.

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