We found this great trail while geocaching at the Oregon coast. The “333″ refers to mile marker 333 on highway 101 between Brookings and Gold Beach, Oregon. Immediately south of the 333 mile marker on the ocean side of the highway, is a parking area. The 333 trail is a loop just under 5 miles long, descending though coastal rain forest, eventually connecting to a secluded beach. Walking north up the beach just under a mile brings you to the point where the trail re-enters the forest for the climb back up to your car.
You can find the beginning spur of the trail just off the north end of the parking area. This part of the trail connects the parking area to the 333 loop below. Stay to the left as you hike down this first short section of trail. There is an obvious trail off to the right just a little ways in, but that trail quickly becomes overgrown, steep, and difficult to navigate. The connecting trail from highway 101 to the 333 loop trail is only one or two hundred yards long. When you meet the loop trail, the best route is to go left. From this point it is less than 4 miles around the loop back to where you are standing.
The 333 trail is part of the Oregon Coast Trail. Eventually the trail is to follow the coast from the Washington border down to the California border, a distance of about 350 miles. At least 300 miles of the trail exists at this time. I am not sure what the plans are for finishing the parts that are missing. The trail connects back to highway 101 in many places so it is easy to find lots of great day hikes. We have only hiked on parts of the trail south of Coos Bay. Many of these sections offer spectacular views and hiking opportunities. Other parts of the trail are easily accessible from state parks and towns.
If you enjoy geocaching, there are hundreds to find along the Oregon coast, nine of them are hidden along the 333 trail. Five were placed by MandalaMaMa, three placed by TrailSailor, and one placed by Arse&Hemi. We found all nine on our hike! If you find this post before hiking the trail, be sure to come back and let us know how it went. The weekend we hiked the 333, parts of the Southern Oregon coast had 9 inches of rain over two days. As you can see from the photos, we got soaked! Still, it was a great hiking experience. The Oregon coast in winter is a wet place!
I have made both a GPX file, used by all GPS and mapping programs, (definition of the the GPS eXchange Format here) and a GBD file, (used by Garmin GPS receivers), for the the 333 trail. You can download them below: