Yachats resident Joanne Kittel deserves all the accolades directed at her for her untiring work to shed light on the history related to Native Americans on the Oregon Coast who suffered as a result of U.S. government policies.
Kittel played a pivotal role in the development of the Amanda Trail in Yachats, which is dedicated to a blind Coos woman, Amanda De Cuys. Amanda, along with many other tribal members, was forced to march to the Alsea Subagency on the Coast Reservation in the 1860s.
Kittel and her husband, Norman, donated two acres of land they purchased on the north side of Cape Perpetua to the Amanda Trail, which took almost 25 years to complete from the time it was conceived to the time it opened to the public. The Amanda Trail is also part of the Oregon Coast Trail.
In August, Kittel received the President’s Award from the National Association of State Park Directors. She was nominated by Lisa Sumption, director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. And more recently, she was honored right here in Yachats at a community event organized to recognize her national award.
Hike the Amanda Trail
Visitors to The Fireside Motel can experience the Amanda Trail firsthand, hiking from the trailhead on Yachats Ocean Road for about one mile to reach the Amanda statue, for a shorter walk. For those who want a longer outing, the Amanda Trail travels up through steep, old growth forest into the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, ending at the Cape Perpetua lookout point. Or start at the top of the cape and work your way down to Yachats.
Some highlights along the full trail are:
- The Amanda Statue, a concrete statue in Amanda’s honor with interpretive signs about Amanda’s life and suffering.
- A view of Cleft of the Rock lighthouse, which sits on a bluff near Cape Perpetua.
- Old growth forest along North Cape Creek, with large Sitka spruce trees.
- Suspension bridge crossing Cape Creek. Kittel spearheaded the partnership between public and private entities to get the bridge completed in 2022.
- Cape Perpetua Stone Shelter, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
- Amazing views of the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area.
The Cape Perpetua Scenic Area also has maps of the area’s trails, including the Amanda Trail. You’ll need a National Forest day-use pass if you park at the top of Cape Perpetua to start.
We suggest you make an overnight trip of it, so you can take your time exploring the trail and other local hikes.