Amanda Trail is a beautiful hike with a dark history on the Oregon coast

As you leave the city of Yachats behind, cross Highway 101 and climb into the sprawling forest of Sitka spruce alongside the rugged and beautiful Oregon coast, a question lingers at the back of your mind: Who is Amanda?

This scenic 3.7-mile stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail, running from Yachats up to the top of Cape Perpetua, is officially known as the Amanda Trail (also known as Amanda’s Trail). The legend of the trail is no secret, but it contains a darkness many Oregonians would rather forget.

Local trail managers allow first-timers to hike in mystery for the first mile and a half before reaching the iconic Amanda Statue and, posted on a sign nearby, the story of Amanda herself.

The trail runs through the former Coast Indian Reservation, established via treaty in 1855 with the Coastal Tribes of Oregon. The reservation ran from Cape Lookout south to Siltcoos, and was supposed to be a place where local tribes could live in peace. But as hostilities between the native population and settlers grew, volunteer militias known as the “exterminators” began to round up the tribes of southwest Oregon and confined them to the new reservation on the Pacific.

The trail officially opened in the spring of 1998, drawing a crowd of 120 people to Amanda Grotto, where the statue of Amanda De-Cuys stands proud, a representative of the people who first lived in what would become the state of Oregon.

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