• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    10 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    275 Feet

Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

This secluded hiking spot takes you on old train tracks along the Salmonberry River in the Tillamook State Forest. Besides the rushing river, we found two 1920's truss bridges, an old water tower, many deep swim spots to return to in summer, and abundant wildlife viewing.

Beware, there is no actual trailhead! This trail (Lower Salmonberry River Hike) starts on Lower Nehalem Rd (Foss Rd) where the Salmonberry River and the Nehalem River meet. Before you cross the tracks, find parking there (but be aware of private property) and follow the train tracks into the forest on the left. Where the rivers meet there is a truss bridge to the right - go the other direction.

Although this is a mostly flat hike, it is difficult in some areas since most of the trail is the old train tracks. Also, there are several bridges to cross with metal grates for hikers to walk on, so a fear of heights may be triggered if you look down to the river below you for too long. There were also a few stream crossings and one area where trees had fallen blocking the path, so we just went right up and over them.

I know this trail is 16 or more miles long but we only made it 5 miles in before having to turning around to make it back to the car by dark.

The trail was extremely secluded, making it perfect for wildlife viewing. We saw several newts crawling along the forest floor, large trout, 2 to 3 feet long at the spot we stopped for lunch, and on our way back we saw a few Roosevelt Elk.

This trail quickly became a favorite of mine because there were so many things to take pictures of! The rock slides, the old railroad equipment, the sometimes eerie overgrown train tracks, the way the fog moves through the hills around you. This hike truly felt like an adventure!

Pack List

  • Plenty of water
  • Sturdy hiking shoes since the trail was uneven at times
  • Sack lunch
  • Camera (always)
  • Binoculars if you have them, to see across the river
  • Headlamp, in case you get stuck out there in the dark like we did
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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You literally walk on train tracks. There wasn't much to see, but it was an awesome place to shoot straight portraits.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

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