Hiking the Salmonberry Corridor

Mia and I decided to #optoutside (Yeah REI!) on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  It took some convincing from me to Mia for us to hit up the Wolf Creek Trestle Hike out in the Tillamook Forest.  This rail line was abandoned in 2007 after the devastating storms known as the “Great Coastal Gale” and resulting floods, landslides, etc damaged the railroad beyond hope.

It all came to my attention after mention of converting it to a rail trail and allowing an off road route from the Banks-Vernonia trail all the way to the Oregon coast.  I wanted to go check it out for quite awhile and finally got Mia to go with me yesterday.

We got a bit of a late start, but were on the trail by 11ish.  It’s a railroad, so there wasn’t exactly a lot of elevation change.  Plus this area sees a lot of hikers, so the trail was easy to follow.  Heck, there had to be at least 6-7 cars already there when we arrived.   The hardest part is finding the trailhead since it’s about 6 miles from the nearest paved road.  Both of us remarked that we saw way more people than we expected (probably close to 20 coming and going).  Mia was expecting two toothed rednecks with shotguns….I was a bit more optimistic.

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Railroad to our left and Codi leading the charge
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In 8 years, mother nature has taken back quite a bit

The hike itself goes through 2 tunnels and over 2 trestles.  Along the way are several remnants of the railroads past.  Like a couple water tanks, rail switches and spare ties and rail.  Rumor has it some where nearby the parking area is an abandoned rail car too, we had no luck in finding it though.  I even hiked almost a half mile in the opposite direction towards Reheers camp with no luck.

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Just before entering the tunnel. I wanted proof in case this was a blair witch moment.

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The two train trestles were pretty cool to say the least.  One of them was close to 200′ high.  There was a plaque near the first one in memory of 7 workers who died when the original collapsed.

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Little Baldwin Trestle
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looking waaayyyy down
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memorial
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Wolf Creek trestle

Along the way there are various sections where the tracks have been compromised by either erosion or landslides.

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landslide

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We turned around just beyond this point above.  I’d like to go back and try to hike more of it.  I found a blog post way back before we even moved to Oregon where two guys fatbiked the whole route from Timber to Tillamook.  I’d link it, but cannot find it again.

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Mandatory dog shot

It was fun, not super challenging, unless you have a fear of heights.  If it catches your fancy, it’d recommend doing it in the fall or winter when there are no leaves on the trees growing around the tracks.  It could be a bit more difficult to walk this route when everything is in full bloom/leaf.

all the pics here

That’s about it.  Thanks for reading,

-Pete

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5 thoughts on “Hiking the Salmonberry Corridor

  1. Cool! I should definitely check this out sometime. I’m still a bit bummed that is no longer an active rail line, but to be honest, there really wasn’t much need for a rail line to Tillamook to exist anymore. Basically it just served the mill out there, and only did a once a week run on Saturday night. (I knew some folks who would regularly hop it out there, now that’s an adventure!) I’m really looking forward to the completion of the Salmonberry Corridor, and hope to see it done before I’m 50.

    What is really interesting is how Oregon treats rail-trail projects vs Washington State. People are really gunning to make the Salmonberrry Corridor happen. Up in Washington there’s a similar line, an old NP line from Chehalis to Raymond. It’s officially a trail, but the state has done little to improve it, and every storm that goes through means more of it gets washed away, so now you wouldn’t be able to ride the whole thing anyway. I’ve heard reports that adjacent landowners have also fenced off sections of it, which is illegal, but who’s to stop them? And now there’s all that nonsense with the John Wayne Trail…

    1. I’m really keen to see how much of this get’s done in the next 5 years. I tend to agree with the sentiment of start of each end and work towards the middle. This should get the most bang for the buck as those are the two most dense areas for use. I also hope that they don’t attempt to pave it the whole way. They should leave the more remote sections as crushed gravel which would easily accommodate tires of 30c or wider. Maybe 28 if you wanted to work for it. The Northern Rail Trail in NH is gravel for all of it’s 50(ish) miles and survives northeast winters and rain storms quite readily.

      I want to ride as much of the John Wayne that I can. I was thinking of doing that early next fall/late summer. I’ve been casually reading about the current issues with that trail.

    1. You should see my list (mental list that is) of places I want to go and explore. I definitely have an itchy exploration side. Not really wanderlust, but I tend to explore the areas I live. Heck I knew my college town and surrounding area better in the first 3 months compared to some of the seniors at the time.

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