By Maegan Jossy, Board Member, Trailkeepers of Oregon Hikers have once again been enjoying the classic five-mile Multnomah-Wahkeena waterfall loop trail in the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area, which reopened at the end of May. The trail had…
By John Sparks, Volunteer, Trailkeepers of Oregon
Oregon’s 12 lighthouses range from the Warrior Rock Light on Sauvie Island in the Columbia River to the Pelican Bay Lighthouse at Brookings. Licensed by the Coast Guard in 1999, the Pelican Bay Light is one of the country’s newest as well as one of Oregon’s two private lighthouses, along with Cleft of the Rock Lighthouse near Yachats.
Oregon’s first lighthouse was built next to the Umpqua River in 1857, but the shifting river bank undermined the structure and a new light was constructed on a bluff in 1894. The Cape Blanco Lighthouse, completed in 1870, is the oldest continually operating light on the Oregon Coast and sits at the westernmost point of Oregon’s mainland.
Two of the state’s coastal lighthouses are on islands, Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and Cape Arago Lighthouse on Chief’s Island. Neither of these lighthouses, nor Cape Meares Lighthouse, function any longer. The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse–“Terrible Tilly”–served as a columbarium for a short time, and Chief’s Island with the Cape Arago Lighthouse has been turned over to the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw. All other lighthouses have been automated.
You can visit several of the lighthouses, and tours of some are given in the summer months. You can also incorporate some of the lighthouses into a hike, while others can be viewed from nearby trails.
John Sparks: firstname.lastname@example.org