Look beyond the beauty of today’s Oregon Coast and some ugly historical truths emerge. Our hike along the Amanda Trail served double duty, reminding us of our unfortunate past while offering a gorgeous walk today.
The beautiful 3.5 mile hike through evergreen forests eventually connects with Cape Perpetua where, on a clear day, the views are stunning. However, a stop at the the 2 mile mark presents a disturbing reminder of Oregon’s less glorious history. Storyboards tell the tale of the forced relocation of Native Americans to reservation land after the Rogue River Indian War of 1856. A statue pays tribute to Amanda, an elderly, blind Indian woman who was discovered and endured a grueling march as she was led to the reservation.
We continued across a short bridge to our lunch destination – the Cape Perpetua lookout. Here, the trail climbs relentlessly uphill until dropping down and crossing a small creek before the final up and down path to the top.
No trip to northern California would be complete without a chance to stand beneath the world’s tallest trees. Our first stop was the Lady Bird Johnson Grove where we walked one of the most popular trails in Redwood National Park. We arrived early, just as the fog was lifting…and parking was still available.
Coast Redwoods can live more than 2,000 years and reach 360 feet in height.
Our next stop was just up the road to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. In addition to numerous hiking trails, herds of elk are a popular attraction and are often be seen grazing throughout the large meadows alongside the roadway.
We were not so lucky with the elk, but we saw plenty more majestic redwoods as we hiked through the forest.