A massive landslide took out the Indian Beach Trail, a 2.1 mile segment of the Oregon Coast Trail that abuts the north end of Cannon Beach, about three years ago.
The landslide made it necessary to realign the trail, said Bo Ensign, ranger supervisor for the Nehalem Bay Management Unit. The realigned trail links the Ecola Point and Indian Beach parking areas in Ecola State Park.
It is not a new trail but rather a new realignment of a pre-existing trail, Ensign said.
“A major landslide took out the original trail,” he said. “It was a massive landslide that made the area impassable to hikers. To keep the same footprint would have not have been feasible. The realignment extends farther to the east and above the landslide area and trail.”
While the trail was under construction, the landslide created a gap in the Oregon Coast Trail, he said. “People had to walk on the park roadway” to continue on their hike.
The realigned trail provides “a little different experience of the park – new views open up,” he said. The trail takes the hiker through “a forested area and spruce trees they may not have seen before.”
From the perspective of park staff, the benefits of the new trail is it “remains linkable” because the former configuration was prone to landslides and in need of constant repairs, he said.
After the landslide, the trail section closed for almost two years, he said. It opened in the fall of 2020.