Dress in layers so you are prepared to peel off a layer as you warm up or add a layer if it gets chilly. Definitely carry (or wear) waterproof rain gear each day. We chose these dates in late September in part because the weather tends to be ideal for walking then. But weather on the Oregon Coast is unpredictable! We expect to walk rain or shine.
A light day pack is adequate to carry extra clothing, water, and snacks. We recommend starting each day with two full water bottles.
About half the route will be on the beach; the rest will be on forest trails with mud, roots, and rocks in places. For Days Two and Three we suggest wearing athletic shoes, such as those designed for trail running or walking, or very lightweight boots. As you prepare for CoastWalk Oregon, walk in the shoes you plan to wear at the event, especially if they are leather shoes, so your shoes and feet can adjust to each other before you put in 10 miles a day for three consecutive days. We’ve found that the best way to avoid blisters on a long hike (in addition to breaking in your shoes, and feet, by walking) is to wear shoes a half-size or more larger than your daily-wear shoes.
On Day One you may prefer to wear waterproof sandals, but bring a small roll of adhesive tape to slap on any hot spots that develop (likely to happen if your feet aren’t accustomed to being in sandals for a long time, especially since you’ll be crossing small creeks and getting your feet wet and sandy). You can also alternate between sandals and bare feet, but unless you’re a barefoot-all-summer person, we don’t recommend walking the entire route barefoot.
“The shuttle service worked well. The hikes themselves were fantastic. I liked meeting new people. The volunteers were wonderful. Great event!”
—Beatrice, Tillamook OR
Training for CoastWalk Oregon
Don’t attempt CoastWalk Oregon without training! Make a plan to gradually lengthen your training walks to avoid injury. Include some up-and-down walking; Days Two and Three both include more than 1200 feet elevation gain. We strongly urge participants to work up to comfortably walking at least 6 miles and to complete at least one 10-mile hike in advance of CoastWalk to be sure they are able to walk that distance. There will be no sag wagon. Portions of the walk, including much of Day Two, are on remote forest trails as much as 3 miles from the nearest road access. Please check with your doctor if you have any uncertainty about your readiness for CoastWalk Oregon.