THE SALMONBERRY TRAIL: A VISION OF RECONNECTION

For more than a century, the forests, farms and towns on either side of Oregon’s Coast Range Mountains were sewn together by a common but tenuous thread: an 86-mile long railroad line built at the turn of the 20th century by steam, horsepower and ingenuity.

 
 

For generations, the line served Oregon communities, connecting families and commerce as it traveled through the most rugged and remote reaches of the Coast Range, from the beaches of Tillamook County to the bustling stations of the Portland area. It was the first and sole connection to the Coast until the highways we know today were built in the early 1940s. 

But catastrophic winter storms in 2007 severed this historic connection where it passes through the remote Salmonberry River canyon, and the prohibitively high cost of restoring rail service all along the line provides new opportunities for reimagining its future use. 

Today, a growing community of interest and support—which started with communities on the Coast and is spreading throughout the region—is planning to reconnect this passage over the Coast Range for the future as the Salmonberry Trail, Oregon’s most ambitious rail-trail project and mixed-use non-motorized path.

Parts of the line are still in active rail use, and the portions that have been storm- damaged are too dangerous for public access. We know there’s interest in getting back out into this historic passage over the Coast Range, and we’re working on it. But what remains is just not ready—nor is it safe—for public access. Here is a link to other nearby non-motorized trail options in the Tillamook State Forest that you can enjoy.

In the meantime, please join the growing community of support for the Salmonberry Trail by making a financial donation, following us on social media, or joining our mailing list for ongoing updates. Click around the site for more background on the project and our partners, and drop us a note with your thoughts.