Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Following the Salmonberry River Train Track

Today I went on a walk along the old Salmonberry River train track. The tracks themselves are now unused. I thought it would make for a great hike and really neat pictures. I brought along the Nikon D80 to play around a bit.

A swollen river last year rocked this train track, blew out the bridge and many mud slides covered the Salmonberry River train track
It was difficult to find, sortof, I did a crap job of trying to follow the directions, and frankly, they read that you drive 11 miles or so down this small road until you cross the train tracks and you park on the left. Well now the road just ends where the river blew out the bridge and the train tracks. So you just park at the end of the road where you can see there is a Train Crossing sign sorta leaning over lamely. Kind of an odd experience. But we found it! Yeah! (side note, we actually missed a key turn on the drive and ended up driving all the way out to the beach and had lunch with some pushy sea gulls before turning around and trying a second time to find the road to drive down to find this obscure location!!)
The birds wanted our sandwiches.
After our beach distraction, and stop to refuel and recharge, we set out to find this crazy Salmonberry train track place.
It was really beautiful to walk down the tracks. The trail guide described it as a "Stand by Me hiking experience"... "Have you ever wanted to wander off down the railroad tracks? This is your chance. The Port of Tillamook Bay allows hiking access on this not active 16 mile section through a roadless canyon in the Coast Range."(60 Hikes winthin 60 Miles: Portland)

I thought this would be awesome!
I enjoyed it. Walking along the train tracks was hell on the ankles, brilliant for concentration, and I couldn't get over the imagery. I loved the big steel bridges. The river was beautiful, I can only imagine what it looks like when the water is higher.
It was a bit disappointing, but somehow integral to Oregon all the same, there was a big patch of active logging going on. It was late enough in the day that they seemed to be shut down for the moment, but you could see all the equipment at the top of a bald patch. We stopped when we actually hit road blocks in the tracks concerning the logging activity. I want to go back and hike to this little remote ghost town of Enright. A train station and a post office, sort of two ramshackle old houses from the 1920s. I want to see that! Next time :)

This time I saw logging.


Stephanie said...

Does anyone know how to get to this trail?

Leah said...

we accessed the trail from the lower end using directions from the book "60 Hikes within 60 miles: Portland" and here are the directions:

take US 26 to Lower Nehalem Road following a sign for Lower Nehalem River. Go a half mile and turn left at a stop sign, then continue 12 miles to where the road used to cross the tracks (you will see the destroyed train tracks in front of you at this point and basically you can park you car at the end of this road)

Saturday's Warrior said...

Wow! That bridge is still out! Since 2009! Though it is being rebuilt. I took my kids for a hike there yesterday. Thanks for the blog post, it was the first real chance I had to verify where I was yesterday.