If you’re standing on the beach in Lincoln City, chances are you’re looking out at the Pacific Ocean. But did you know there’s much more open space to enjoy in the small coastal town?
“When you're down in the city, you can look up and see where The Knoll is,” said Lincoln City Parks and Recreation Director Jeanne Sprague. “It's a beautiful meadow, and it's got a lot of native species up there, and people sit there and have a picnic lunch. I think it's unlike any viewpoint that people are used to.”
Lincoln City has 400 acres of open land and seven different hiking trails. The Knoll is a prominent feature visible from the beach. A three-mile hike and 600 feet of elevation gain will get you there looking down seven miles of coastline.
“Of course we have the beaches and the ocean, which is what everyone comes for, but then they can stay a little bit longer with us or vary up their day a little bit and go on a hike in one of our open spaces,” Sprague said.
Sprague, along with recreation supervisor Boone Marker guided me up to the top of The Knoll. For most of the hike, you can’t even tell you’re anywhere near the coast.
“You can't argue the beauty of the coast and what we get to experience daily living here, but I think people take for granted that this space is available to anybody,” Marker said.
In 2013, the city purchased the 97 acres that includes The Knoll. From up top you can spot Devil’s Lake, God’s Thumb to the south and all the way to Boiler Bay to the north.
“This is rated as a moderate trail,” said Sprague. “And the reason for that is it's not a lot of elevation gain. Again, it's under 600 feet elevation gain, but there's certain sections where the elevation is packed all in one place. So that makes it a little bit of a moderate.”
“Oh my gosh this is so worth it,” said Marilyn Peterson, a hiker.
The 70-year-old took her time — good advice for anyone trying to tackle this trail. You don’t need a ton of hiking experience, just a steady pace and plenty of water for those warm days.
“It’s just a big circle, three-mile hike. Yes, highly recommend it. And if I can do it, anyone can,” Peterson said. “And I’m 70, so hey...but I did it!”
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