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Left, Shane Sjogren, stewardship coordinator for the Lower Nehalem Community Trust, and volunteers pause for a photo as they begin work on a section of the trail on the Headwaters parcel on the south face of Neahkahnie Mountain.

The Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) starts at the mouth of the Columbia River and spans the Oregon coastline to California, covering 382 miles and crossing 28 coastal towns.

The trail follows the beach for the most part and also crosses state parks and public lands.

There are portions of the trail - gaps - that force hikers to walk along the narrow shoulder of U.S. Highway Trailhead and Manzanita, where hikers follow US Highway 101 to Nehalem Road.

With the recent acquisition of 111 acres of land on the south side of Neahkahnie Mountain, the Lower Nehalem Community Trust has become a partner in closing this gap, providing access for new sections of the trail that will take hikers off US Highway 101.

It will connect the Neahkahnie Mountain Trail portion of the Oregon Coast Trail directly to Manzanita.

The Lower Nehalem Community Trust, along with other organizations such as the Trail Keepers of Oregon, have started work to construct and maintain the portions of the trail that cross the 111-acre parcel, called “The Headwaters” because it is the uppermost portion, or headwaters, of the Neahkahnie Creek and Alder Creek watersheds.

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