A search is under way for a 68-year-old Gearhart man missing on the 6.5-mile Fort-to-Sea Trail between the Fort Clatsop Visitors Center and the Pacific Ocean.

Michael P. McDonald was dropped off at the entrance to the trail at Sunset Beach around 1:30 p.m. Monday and planned to hike the trail to Fort Clatsop, where he was to meet his wife. McDonald wandered off the trail and around 4:30 p.m. contacted a resident at the far eastern end of Perkins Road for directions back to the trail. At that time, he also made a phone call to his wife.

He was reported missing to the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office around 5:30 p.m. Monday. Clatsop County Search and Rescue and National Park Service personnel searched until just short of midnight. The search resumed this morning around 7 with about 25 members of Search and Rescue and the park service. The Clatsop County Sheriff's Posse is riding the trail on horseback.

McDonald has health issues that require medication and may be disoriented. He is 5-feet-9-inches tall, 175 pounds, with short white hair and hazel eyes and wears glasses. He was wearing an off-white sweatshirt imprinted with "Astoria Country Club," green pants, gray tennis shoes and gray baseball hat. He is believed to have a walking stick.

Anyone who sees McDonald is urged to call 9-1-1 and, if possible, stay with him until help arrives, Sgt. Robert Smith said.

The Fort-to-Sea Trail runs through varying landscape from forests to grassy dunes. It opened last November as part of the Corps of Discovery Bicentennial activities commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition's encampment at Fort Clatsop the winter of 1805-06.


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