If mobility issues are keeping you from enjoying our beaches, we can help. There are now nine beach wheelchairs available for use in several popular towns and parks on the Tillamook Coast: Manzanita (2), Port of Gribaldi, Rockaway Beach, Pacific City (2), Nehalem Bay State Park, Cape Lookout State Park, and Barview Jetty County Campground.
The chairs can be reserved in advance, and they are free to use, although donations are welcome to help cover maintenance costs. Go to tillamookcoast.com/mobility for reservation information.
Greater access to outdoor recreation is an initiative of the Tillamook Coast Visitors Association. In addition to the nine beach wheelchairs, there are also three kayak launchers for those with who prefer getting into kayaks without tipping or losing balance: in Wheeler, Garibaldi and Tillamook.
“My mother had Parkinson’s Disease, and as her mobility decreased, her ability to enjoy the outdoors also decreased,” said Nan Devlin, executive director of Tillamook Coast Visitors Association. “She passed away in 2006, but I would have loved to have been able to be on the beach with her in her final years, just as we did when spending our summers on the Oregon Coast as a family. We hear from people – both visitors and locals – how much it means to them to be able to enjoy being with their family and friends on the beach.”
Kilchis Point Reserve and Old Growth Cedar Trail in Rockaway Beach are built as ADA-friendly trails. Both places accommodate regular wheelchairs, scooters, walkers and strollers.
“Manzanita Visitor Center has offered beach wheelchairs for several years, but the chairs were at the end of their usability and needed replacement,” said Devlin. “We hope to make more mobility equipment available in the future, but this is a strong start.”