Northwest Coastal Pilgrimage: A Walk With the Earth

September 15-19, 2016 | North Coast, Oregon USA

The NW Coastal Pilgrimage is an experience for grounding in contemplative practice, reconnection to the earth, and learning from the early Celtic Christian world through the writings of John Philip Newell.


REGISTRATION IS FULL. To be added to the waiting list, please sign in here.

Walking 40 miles from Astoria to Oswald State Park in Northern Oregon, this pilgrimage will traverse seaside foothills, sand dunes, and many miles of picturesque beaches. Beginning with the rising of the sun in the morning, our group will walk 10-15 miles each day by way of trail, beach, and some roadside walking (depending on the high tides).

Included in the registration fee are guided walking along Oregon’s North Coast, guided contemplative exercises, spiritual accompaniment, meals, lodging, and van shuttle to the coast and back from Portland, OR. Lodging will include yurts, a hostel, and a church community room (showers not available on the third night). Most of the meals will be prepared by the group (gluten free and vegetarian options available upon request).

Through John Philip Newell’s writings we will learn about the early Celtic Christian world and explore themes of interrelatedness, connection to earth, and the sacredness of all things. A copy of The Rebirthing of God will be provided as an introduction. Our days will begin with morning prayer before settling into a rhythm of sharing meals, holding space for contemplative practice, group discussion, and walking.

Registered participants will meet in Portland, OR at 12pm on September 15. A van and trailer shuttle will be provided for ferry to the coast, making some food and supply drops along our route. Our walk will conclude at Oswald State Park and we will shuttle back to Portland, OR on September 19, returning around 11:00am.



photoThe NW Coast Pilgrimage is led by Ben Lindwall, Executive Director at Heartbeat. Ben lives in Portland, Oregon USA where he and his family are caretakers in residence at the Arbor Lodge Urban Farm. He has been leading group experiences in various capacities for over a decade. Ben has been mentored by John Philip and Ali Newell over the past few years and is a certified Spiritual Director. He has been the Executive Director at Heartbeat since 2013, working with people from all over the world to advance a vision of healing, transformation, and peace. Coming from an evangelical Christian background and now like many of his generation, Ben considers himself spiritual (and a Christian) without any formal church membership. He and his wife Jen have been married for 12 years and have two young children.

“A pilgrimage is always an opportunity to be re-born. I’ve seen and experienced the impact of leaving behind the safety and comfort of home on a quest for deeper understanding, awareness, and connection. The act of moving our bodies, moving our feet gently upon the earth in unison can be a kind of soul-march. It reminds us of our true identity, our oneness, and creates liminal space to hear and know our calling. In co-leading this pilgrimage I hope to cultivate an environment for each of us to learn and grow.”  -Ben Lindwall

Additional expenses and expectations

  • Any gear needed to complete packing list.
  • Access to restrooms will be minimal while walking – trees, shrubs, and beach grass may at times be the only available coverage.
  • While usually sunny this time of year, the possibility always exists for high winds and rain. Our group will be expected to walk rain or shine unless dangerous conditions are present.
  • The route consists of approximately 60% beach walking, 30% state park trails, and up to 10% roadside walking on scenic Hwy 101.
  • Some of the hiking will enter forested areas with steep ascent/descents.
  • Creek and stream crossings will be necessary.
  • To maximize walking during low tides, some mornings may begin as early as 5:00am.
  • Each participant will be required to purchase travel insurance and provide proof of coverage prior to departure (check out some of these different options).
  • Each participant will be required to carry up to 3 lbs of group food and supplies in their backpack.
  • Each participant must be able to walk up to 15 miles a day and must train beforehand with a loaded pack.


Packing list:

*Please be mindful that the packing list includes what you will be wearing (for instance, you will wear one pair of socks and pack two— three total). You may plan to leave some luggage locked up in the trailer to avoid excess carrying on the trail.

Socks (3) light wool for hiking

Sock liner (3) prevents blisters (optional)

Underwear (2) lightweight, quick dry (mostly poly/nylon fabric)

Shorts (1) lightweight, quick dry (mostly poly/nylon fabric)

Pants (1) lightweight, quick dry (mostly poly/nylon fabric)

Shirts (2) lightweight, quick dry (mostly poly/nylon fabric)

Long sleeve shirt (1) lightweight, quick dry (mostly poly/nylon fabric)

Lightweight hiking shoes

Light sandal (like these or these)

Rain jacket


Moleskin (or other blister treatment)





Laundry detergent

Toothpaste (small tube)

Soap (small all purpose bar for body and hair, if possible)

Water bottle (at least 900ml/32oz)

5 clothespins

Plastic plate, bowl, fork, and spoon

Hiking towel (small quick dry)






Pen or pencil

Camera phone and waterproof container

*sleeping sheet bag liner and blanket (for first and last night’s accommodation)

*Sleeping bag and sleeping pad (for third nigh’s accommodation)

*items will be dropped at a specific site and will note be carried in backpack)

Cancellation policy

A full refund is available up to 45 days before the event. After the 45-day deadline, a refund will be available if the spot can be filled.

In case of injury or fatigue

If you are unable to walk with the group for any reason, transportation to the next destination on the itinerary will be arranged at the participant’s expense. If for any reason a participant needs to leave the group, transportation to Portland, OR will be arranged at the participant’s expense.

Before registering please have emergency contact and personal insurance information available.

REGISTRATION IS FULL. To be added to the waiting list, please sign in here.