The observation deck and trail at Natural Bridges viewpoint north of Brookings are undergoing a makeover.

The platform and a short section of the Oregon Coast Trail are closed, from the parking lot south to milepost 346.1, while the construction work is being done.

The trail and platform is expected to reopen the first week of December.

The short trail takes visitors to a vantage point where they can see the “seven iconic arch rocks and blowholes known as Natural Bridges,” according to the Oregon State Parks website.

“It is one of the nicest views I’ve seen on the Oregon Coast Trail,” said Dani Padilla, park manager for the Harris Beach State Park management unit.

The estimated $80,000 project will add gravel to the path, stabilize footings for the platform, and replace decking, which has deteriorated due to rot, on the structure that was originally built in the early 1980s, Padilla said.

“The new platform will be 5 feet wider to make it more accessible,” she said. “This allows people with mobility issues to see more.”

Last year, viewshed work was done to provide a better view.

The location of the trail work is near where 28-year-old Callie Ellwood needed to be rescued from a cliff by search and rescue on Sept. 20 after she left the trail to try to reach the beach.

Padilla emphasized that while the Oregon Coast Trail travels through the platform, no trail goes down to the Natural Bridges. “Pioneer” trails and deer trails are often mistaken for official trails, she said.

Oregon Parks plans to put more signage showing Oregon Coast Trail locations with a kiosk at that location, she said. Because of social media, more visitors are accessing the scenic wonders of the southern Oregon coast, which is causing a rise in mishaps.

Natural Bridges is about 11 miles north of Brookings on U.S. Highway 101.


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