Mile 110 Report

June 8, 2008
by TRBishop

Location:
Coos
Merchants Beach, Seven Devils State Wayside
Conditions:
Sunday 11:00 AM
Sunny
Wind:
Moderate from the N
Tide Level:
-1.0 ft
Humans / Pets:
People:
7
Dogs:
1
Activities:
Walking / Running:
7
Playing in sand:
2
Sitting:
3
Concerns:
Apparent Violations:
OC Trail access - see "General Comments"
Disturbances:
Vehicles:
Activity Comments:
Notable Wildlife:
Dead Birds:
Stranded:
Fish & Invertebrates:
Driftline:
New Development:
Modifications:
Natural Changes:
Comments:
I'm concerned with the reduced access to the Oregon Coast Trail, presumably caused by the Bandon Dunes golf complex and housing developments. I started off with the intent to take advantage of the minus tides today and make a loop beginning at the Coast Trail off Tokyo Ln, hiking south to Whiskey Run beach, hiking the beach north around Five Mile Point, and then returning on the Coast Trail as it goes up the bluff and comes out on Tokyo Ln. For 25 years I have been accessing the trail at the 90 degree turn on Tokyo Ln. This access is now totally gone. A "No Parking" sign went up a few years back, which discouraged use because there is absolutely no other place to park. I used to park there anyway, just to hike the trail for monitoring. But now access to the old trail has been totally blocked with a locked gate as well - one that is not possible to walk around because it is fenced right into the dense gorse brush on either side. I found the old sign saying "Coast Trail (South)" attached to the 8-foot-high post removed and laying on the ground overgrown by vegetation. I then discovered a smaller post on the opposite side of the road that identified the trail north, but to see it required passing several signs that read "Private Road", Private Drive", "No Trespassing" and the like, and then there is an electronic locking gate across the road, but it is passable to walk around - which I did. I followed two more small posts (these new posts are approx. 3 1/2 feet high) and discovered that the trail had been relocated, crossing a pasture. It had very narrow access with trees growing in the center of the trail. One place had less than two feet between the tree trunk and the new fence. Eventually, I came out on the old trail that descended the bluff and made my way to the beach, although it was very overgrown. At the beach entrance, I found another new, short post, almost entirely overgrown, labled "Alternative Route". On the beach I met the man who lived in the house on the bluff above. He told me the trail south had been moved to a new location further east on Tokyo Ln. to go around the golf course, but it, too, had a locked gate. When I returned to my car, I drove down Tokyo road and found the access point 1/3 mile east of the original one, again with the smaller post and the locked gate, although it was possible to walk around it. There was no place to park, except for one car to park in front of the gate and block it. I did not hike this trail, so I don't know where it led, or where it comes out. It used to come out right at Wiskey Run beach, and offer wonderful views on the bluffs overlooking Five Mile Point. I also learned that this area is now a private, exclusive 14-hole golfcourse that reportedly has about one party playing it per day. This is the area that used to be the electric windmill generating farm a couple of decades ago, just north of Wiskey Run beach. It also had an interpretive display talking about the Native Americans who lived here, and the story of how Wiskey Run got it's name. Anybody else remember that? The trail I hiked on today, going from Toyko Ln. down to Merchants Beach, used to offer excellent bird-watching opportunities, but this also seems to have changed. Much of the original vegetation was erradicated to make the golf course and homesites. A lot of it was gorse, which is probably a good thing, but trees and vegetation were removed as well to plant grass. Call me sentimental, but this is the kind of progress I would rather live without in this beautiful, pristine area, when it decreases our quality of life rather than enhancing it. I can understand why the fortunate few who own such great property would like to discourage people from coming through, especially when some individuals are disrespectful or may even commit theft or vandalism, but isn't the intent of the law to preserve the beach for all to enjoy? Surely, when the property was purchased the buyers must have known that it had an established public trail running through the middle of it. I know access is not always protected, but I still feel like the public is getting the raw deal here - especially if my understanding is correct that Bandon Dunes does not have to pay property taxes. The letter of the law may be being followed (or maybe not?) but the spirit of preserving a valuable public resource is taking quite a beating. . .(FOOT NOTE: At the request of Coast Watch Coos County Coordinator, Diane Bilderback, I returned to take photos for the report. I also wanted to hike the trail between Tokyo Ln. and Whiskey Run beach to see where it led. This report continues with a follow up report on mile 109 on 06/15/2008.)
Summary:
I began with the intention to hike the Oregon Coast Trail at the access point on Tokyo Lane that borders on the line between mile 109 and 110. I found the access unaccessible due to a recently installed locked gate with fencing on either side. There was no trace of the trail except for the signpost that I found removed and laying on the ground under the brush. I later discovered the trail had been moved and new access points constructed to the north and south on Tokyo Ln. Please see "General Comments" for a complete report. (Also - this report continues with a follow up report on mile 109 on 06/15/2008.)
  • New fenced-in trail going west from Tokyo Ln., eventually joining the old trail that descends the bluff to Merchants beach.
    New fenced-in trail going west from Tokyo Ln., eventually joining the old trail that descends the bluff to Merchants beach.
    Trail just off Toyko Ln. approx. 1 mile from Seven Devils Rd., approx 1/6 mile past locked electronic gate accross the road.
    June 15, 2008
Other Mile 110 Reports (32)

2019

March 16, 2019 - skimmer
Quite a few people and dogs enjoying the beach even though it wasn't a particularly warm sunny day.Unusual things I noticed were:  One headless pinniped carcass.  New gorse slide from the top of the...
January 1, 2019 - billberg
It was a beautiful 1st day of the New Year!!! Collected about 1/3 bag of trash (water bottles, small pieces of styrofoam, small broken plastic pieces, plastic bags, rope, mesh bag, canvas tote bag...
  • Tire we carried 2/3 mile. Good exercise!

2018

December 19, 2018 - skimmer
No humans or dogs were on the beach while I was there.  Only a few sanderlings and gulls -visibility was pretty limited.  Plenty of cut gorse at the base of the bluff.  Big storms of late left the...
November 10, 2018 - billberg
Since this is my first mile report, please tell me what more I can write that will be significant. I have added photos of the sea lion and the starfish.
  • Beached jelly fish
  • carcass of unknown mammal

2017

October 24, 2017 - RebeccaMC
June 18, 2017 - TRBishop
Quite a few out enjoying the beautiful Father's Day. Nothing out of the ordinary to report, except the coast trail at the southern section of the mile is now overgrown and unpassable about half way...
April 21, 2017 - skimmer

2016

September 25, 2016 - TRBishop
The Coast Trail access near the southern edge of Mile 110 is overgrown, and the trail is nearly inaccessible, and probably will be next year due to vegetation, gorse encroachment, and natural erosion...

2015

July 8, 2015 - TRBishop
Great summer day; was surprised by the total lack of birds; I'm guessing it might have been due to the Coast Guard helicopter that arrived about the same time I did, and was there doing their...

2014

October 11, 2014 - skimmer
High tides were keeping the beach fairly clean.
February 3, 2014 - skimmer
A beautiful February day. The driftline was really high after the recent King Tides. There were big piles of kelp, but a seemingly small amount of driftwood.

2013

November 13, 2013 - skimmer
A gorgeous fall day. Just four people walking on the shoreline. One dead gull observed.
September 1, 2013 - TRBishop
A beautiful Labor Day weekend late summer day - a put your feet in the water sort of day. Shorebirds moving in response to people. Seventeen people walking with eight dogs walking on the beach. White...
August 16, 2013 - whiskeydevil
Very nice afternoon. Very calm for a summer afternoon! Shells, animal casings, kelp/algae, small rocks and wood pieces in the driftline. Two people walking with two dogs. No one driving on the beach.
August 16, 2013 - skimmer
Just a beautiful afternoon on the beach dampened only by a dead pelican and six other small shorebirds. Kelp/algae and small rocks in the driftline. Nine people on the beach, eight walking and one...
June 8, 2013 - skimmer
Just a gorgeous morning, and no one else on the beach yet. The Bald Eagle sunning at five mile point was awesome, and then a gull pestered it as it flew north. The beach was quite clean with very...
May 5, 2013 - TRBishop
I planned to access the mile from the Oregon Coast Trail access on Toyko Ln. A new locked gate and Private Property sign have been placed on the road, with no signage depicting the trail. Also, there...

2012

December 29, 2012 - skimmer
What a beautiful day, but the seas were rough and high. There was a lot of driftwood and other natural as well as unnatural debris. I also observed a small landslide, just enough to bury some gorse...
November 23, 2012 - skimmer
It was a beautiful and amazingly calm Thanksgiving day at the beach. Given the recent storm activity the beach was really clean. Shells, kelp/algae, small rocks and wood in the driftline. One dead...
September 8, 2012 - skimmer
This one mile stretch seemed particularly clean. Shells, animal casings, kelp/algae in driftline. One small dead salmon shark and one dead gull. Three people walking on the beach with one seriously...
February 5, 2012 - TRBishop
A beautiful sunny, warm Super Bowl Sunday - way too nice to stay inside and watch the game. Eleven other people and five dogs joined me on the beach. Three people were panning for gold. Erosion of...

2008

September 1, 2008 - BH
Visited the mile on Labor Day morning and found many folks and dogs enjoying the beach and water. Weather was warm and sunny with little wind. People tend to cluster around Seven Devils Wayside and...
June 18, 2008 - BH
Beach was clean and almost litter free. Very few people (7)-5 walking and 2 sitting) on the beach at this time of day which is the most pleasant time as there is little wind. Noticed very few birds...
March 22, 2008 - BH
A nice day to be on the beach between storms. Beach clean and almost litter free. Did not notice any gulls or other birds during my entire time on the beach. Thought this was a little strange....

2007

September 16, 2007 - BH
Great day to be on beach. Little wind and warm temperatures. Normal amount of kelp/algae, large number of crab casings and clam shells, small rocks and wood pieces. Many gulls roosting and feeding...
June 20, 2007 - BH
Kelp/algae, shells, small rocks and wood pieces in driftline. Foraging shorebirds at surfline and moving in response to humans. Erosion of bluff and vegetated foredunes. Beach was at low tide...
March 17, 2007 - BH
A great way to spend Saturday afternoon on the southern Oregon Coast walking your Coastwatch mile. The beach was at almost low-tide and was uncommonly clean of debris and litter. Only observed very...
March 3, 2007 - TRBishop
Shells, animal casings and styrofoam in driftline. Erosion of vegetated foredune. Paved path and picnic fire ring removed and reseeded and new stairs constructed to creek and beach at Seven Devil's...

2006

December 16, 2006 - BH
Foraging shorebirds moving in reponse to humans. Kelp and small rocks in driftline. Very little driftwood. One dead Western Gull. Sand removed from beach and leveled. Moderate erosion on bluffs...
October 4, 2006 - BH
Kelp, shells, crab castings, small rocks and wood pieces in driftline. Foraging shorebirds moving in response to humans. 2 automobile tires and small amounts of litter on beach. 3 dead Common...
September 10, 2006 - TRBishop
Foraging shorebirds, carcass (bones only) of sea lion or seal in surf. Visible retreat of bluff. Moderate human impact (6)- walking, sitting and panning for gold. Concerned about litter.
June 24, 2006 - TRBishop
One dead California sea lion. Major retreat of bluff and headline at Mile 110.3. Foraging seabirds. Moderate human impact (6)- walking and playing in surf.