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Concept Plan – Materials

This page is where you can locate master plan meeting materials and meeting summaries for the Salmonberry Corridor.

Feasibility Study

A feasibility study was completed over 2012-2103.

Concept Plan – Kick Off Meetings

The concept plan began in mid-2013 and is currently underway.  It is planned to be completed in November 2014.

Kick Off Meetings (September & December 2013)

Assessment Meetings (February 2014)

Alternatives Meeting (June 2014)

Draft Plan (September 2014)

Final Draft Plan (November 2014)

Final Plan (June 2015)

If you have a comment on the rail/trail concept please feel free to post here.  We want to hear what you think about the idea in the reply box below.

47 Comments leave one →
  1. Kim Isaacson permalink
    December 1, 2012 10:30 am

    This is a really promising concept that would provide economic benefits for adjacent communities from regular use by tourists from near and far. And it would be an incredible recreational draw for cyclists, hikers, fishing enthusiasts and other users, adding to the Banks-Vernonia trail already in place. Two thumbs up!

  2. Andy permalink
    December 25, 2012 2:18 am

    The salmon berry is a spectacular stretch of stream and fairly remote, isolated from cars and very few residences. My friends and I have been hiking and fishing it for years.

    I think a rails to trails project would be great.

  3. Gerald Fox permalink
    January 17, 2013 3:41 am

    I believe we should restore this line for rail service which will become valuable as the Tillamook Burn timber matures, and there is the possibility of re-establishing some mills and jobs on the coast. Failing that, I’d like to see the ROW used for a trail. It would be a spectacular, traffic free route to the coast.

  4. February 9, 2013 8:24 pm

    the “Cheese to Sea” route. I’ll be tweeting this blog post regularly and sharing on facebook… @DaveFromTWJ

  5. March 23, 2013 2:48 am

    I’m guessing any lumber from the Tillamook State Forest would just go to the mill in Forest Grove. I’m all for new trails that provide safe places to ride away from traffic on the highways.

  6. April 5, 2013 9:13 am

    My family and I have hunted this area for over 40 years and I hope that a trail will not prevent us from continuing the tradition. It is very rugged and I don’t know of any people who know the hills like we do.

  7. I.F. permalink
    April 19, 2013 4:26 am

    I am concerned about the ability to continue hunting in the area. My family has hunted the Salmonberry river canyon for 30-40 years and it is a very special place to us. Will the trail impact our ability to continue hunting the area?

    • SBPM2013 permalink
      April 30, 2013 11:11 pm

      One of the exciting challenges of this proposal is to evaluate all of conditions of the public land in the corridor. Some of these lands can accommodate hunting, some do not. Trail proposals will be based on what is the best fit for that mix of recreation. The members of the coalition recognize that many traditional activities such as fishing and hunting will need to be addressed and planned for in any trail development proposal. During the planning process we hope to hear from folks like you that have used this area to identify ways that multiple uses of the trail corridor are managed carefully.

  8. A. Homer Hilsen permalink
    May 9, 2013 5:23 am

    I have recently done a couple rides back to Portland from the Nehalem/Manzanita area, starting on Foss Rd./Lower Nehalem Road. Fantasized about putting some sort or rail bike together to explore this rail line, until I saw some images on Google maps of how deteriorated the track has become. This project would be a dream come true, and I intend to follow its progress. Riding on State Hwy 26 is scary and I feel like bikes really don’t have a place on some of the narrower sections without sufficient shoulder.

  9. Paul permalink
    May 9, 2013 6:47 am

    I think this is a great idea and would love the opportunity to ride through the forest to the coast without ever seeing a car. I’m wondering about access for emergency services, what help would be available for people stranded on the trail with a broken bike and an inability to fix it, and whether or not there is cell phone coverage anywhere along the corridor.

  10. June 4, 2013 3:29 am

    Do you have a Facebook page set up for this project? That seems like a great way to keep people updated.

    Keep up the good work. I just heard about this today, but holy cow what a fantastic idea.

  11. June 6, 2013 7:59 am

    This is a great idea and one more set of groups to get involved in the effort are paddling clubs. Better access to the Salmonberry is of high interest to clubs like the Lower Columbia Canoe Club, Oregon Kayak and Canoe Club, and Willamette Kayak and Canoe Club. All these clubs have paddled the river before, but getting to the river through forest service roads has generally required four-wheel drive vehicles. A trail system and better roads to access that trail system at various points would be a boon to these paddling clubs.

  12. Andy permalink
    July 1, 2013 12:13 pm

    Don’t mean to be a Negative Nancy..but, if you have not hiked this line recently, you would be surprised of the amount of damages. I can’t imagine the costs to make this into a trail where most of you would consider it “safe” . Tunnels have rocks the size of small cars laying on the tracks from cave-ins. Trestles have washed away, do you all realize the cost of maintaining something like this? Let me put it to you this way, the railroad, who actually generated revenue from this line, could not keep up with those costs.
    If you all think that you are really “adventurous”, then go out and enjoy it as it is, leave it alone. It’s a blast, it’s there right now and you don’t have to pay a fee or obtain a permission slip to have fun.
    We really do not really need another REI Poser Park like the Banks Veronia Trail. (As fun as that can be)

    • Patrik permalink
      September 13, 2013 3:52 am

      You took the words right out of my mouth Andy.
      Leave it alone. If you are concerned about a lack of cell service, emergency services, bathrooms (every 20 miles?), then don’t go in there. Leave it for people who accept the risk. Why does the natural world always have to be “managed”?

    • Doug N. permalink
      September 14, 2013 2:49 am

      Andy and Patrik – You guys get it. I’ve been through there a number of times. The cost to construct the trail and maintain it, not to mention the emergency services aspect, seems prohibitively expensive and unrealistic. Most who favor the idea of the trail probably haven’t been in there and walked most of the corridor.

  13. Peter permalink
    July 13, 2013 12:12 am

    About five years ago I hiked a 16-mile stretch of the rail corridor, from Timber (which is the summit, I think) to the Nahalem River (I think – a bit fuzzy on the details now). It was absolutely spectacular, and I remember saying to my hiking companion, “If this stretch of railway is ever abandoned, it could become the mother of all rail-trails.” And so it may happen! This rail-trail will draw visitors from all over the US – and probably the world. I myself have traveled to ride rail-trails all over the US but especially in the Northwest (Burke-Gilman in Seattle, the trolley trail in Bellingham, the many trails in Spokane, etc etc). A dedicated rail-trail from Banks to the coast would be an economic gold-mine for people in the towns along the trail. Families with children, young and old alike, will enjoy the trail and tell their friends. Talk to anyone who cycles in Portland and they’ll tell you how much they love to ride to the coast but how it’s next to impossible to do now. This rail-trail will change all that. Let’s get it done!

  14. Joe permalink
    September 9, 2013 4:19 am

    There is a long history of hunting and fishing alone this route. These activities should not be impacted. Maybe safety zone around any camp area but that is all.

  15. Dorothy permalink
    September 16, 2013 9:06 am

    Sure would be nice to be able to have a trail to follow the history of the railroad to the coast.

  16. Fred permalink
    September 17, 2013 12:12 am

    I couldn’t disagree more strongly! I’ve hiked over 20 miles of the rail line – and it’s spectacular. The public deserves to find out just how spectacular it is. Let’s not let a “can’t do” spirit take over this project.

  17. Steve permalink
    September 17, 2013 3:00 am

    First, I would like to see a start as a dirt single track trail with water fords through creeks with multi-use of equestrians, mountain bikers & hikers only. Allow “No Trace” camping along the trail like Federal Wilderness designated areas. It has worked for years with low impact in those areas and would allow multi-users to traverse the entire length as soon as you open it. Keep it simple and cheap. Maintenance will also be cheaper. Once equestrians, mountain bikers and hikers use it for a few years, grow with funding available to 1) a nicer 6′ wide groomed trail with bridges, 2) trail head parking for horse trailers, bikes, hikers that can access the trail at different points with maybe a 5-10 mile access trail, 3) better camping areas every 10-15 miles along it. Then decades later evolve to even better, though NEVER pave it like BVT. It should be a wilderness experience that attracts from around the world like Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachia Trail, though allow mountain bikers unlike PCT. Responsible bikers on single tracks can safely interact with horses & hikers and do all the time at LL Stub Stewart (off BVT where a very few bikers go too fast and don’t yield properly to other users). Pavement encourages much faster traversing (& some illegal uses) which can impact most other users enjoyment and safety.

    • Carol Lofgren permalink
      January 16, 2014 3:35 am

      This sounds like a wonderful approach and makes a lot of sense. As an equestrian user, I have never had a problem with bikers on dirt or gravel, but a big percentage (50% maybe) of bikers on the paved BVT are dangerous either through arrogance or ignorance of the rules.
      At 70 years of age, I might not get to enjoy the final stages of this project, but it would be great to get in another 5-6 years (the horse isn’t getting any younger either!).

      • Steve permalink
        February 6, 2014 7:16 am

        Its all about educating all users to interact with other users. We’re working at Stub Stewart to improve interaction & safety for all. I ride both horses and a mountain bike. We have the same goals regards trails. My mount is 8 years old now, and I hope the agencies can get it together in time for me to ride the length of Salmonberry on her someday. I ride out of Timber and Reehers quite a bit and could see some initial projects go in locally I could be riding on within a few years. The Oregon legislature has a funding bill this session for Salmonberry. BVT took decades, but it “paved the way” (sorry for pun) along with other rails/trails and I hope Salmonberry comes to pass much faster. There will be more political support for a lower impact, lower initial & maintenance cost approach as well.

  18. J. Mark Schreier permalink
    September 18, 2013 7:38 am

    I was at the master planning meeting last week in Tillamook. It was great to see all the enthusiasm for this project. There was some brief comments about facing the daunting task of funding and who would ultimately manage the trail. I was thinking today while surfing the web that this can not be the first time the state has done this and so they must have experience with both these challenges. In fact there is just such a trial that originates in Banks which this trial may share some duty with. How did they fund it? Can we fund the Salmonberry trail the same way. Same for management. I know this is mush longer and so much more complicated, but just a thought.

  19. William O'Brien permalink
    September 27, 2013 3:28 pm

    I think converting the Tillamook rail line to a rail to trail would be a novel idea with it’s rail and lumber history and multiple recreational opportunities it would offer in a scenic part of NW Oregon. Linking this rail to trail to the already existing Banks-Vernonia trail would be an added bonus to bike travel and walking.

  20. Columbia County permalink
    October 23, 2013 12:54 pm

    This is a genuine, legacy building proposal!

    I imagine at the genesis of every major state park, or national forest, or wilderness area or other development that supports outdoor recreation – that we now enjoy and take for granted – there were nay-sayers. There certainly were for the Banks-Vernonia trail!

    Because of the geological challenges, I don’t see this trail becoming “over developed”. What long trail in Oregon really is???

    Great concept and I fully support it!

  21. Local in Support! permalink
    December 6, 2013 7:33 am

    I was at the Banks Meeting last night regarding the trail and heard from some of the property owners (who don’t support the trail) that said such a project would attract mostly ‘Portland cyclists’ who would infringe on their privacy. I am a competitive distance runner from the Cornelius-Forest Grove area who frequently uses the BV Trail and my observations there has been that its mostly LOCALS who use the trail on a day to day basis for hiking, running and cycling. The only time the trail might be crowded with mostly ‘Portland Cyclists’ is on sunny weekend days in the summer and early fall.

    Additionally, I understand their concerns for privacy and the security of their property. They are fully entitled to both of those things, however, just as they did to acquire their current property in the first place, the property owner can exercise his or her free market rights and either acquire the adjacent property or choose to move elsewhere if their proximity to the proposed bike path is intolerable. They don’t own the proposed corridor pathway, nor do their property rights extend beyond their property. It was Einstein I believe who said that the only constant in the universe is change. Roll with it.

    • Local in Support! permalink
      December 6, 2013 7:50 am

      That being said ODF or Oregon Parks & Recreation MUST enforce & educate trail users on respecting the property rights of nearby residents. From what I’ve heard and seen, they’ve done a good job doing that so far on the BV Trail with a remarkably small amount of incidents occurring during its existence.

      It would be a tragedy to prevent access to such a wonderfully significant and beautiful part of our state to current & future generations of Oregonians.

    • Fred permalink
      December 17, 2013 1:53 am

      I agree with these comments, and I think adjacent property owners will find the trail to be a huge asset, not a burden. I actually bought my last house b/c it was next to a bike trail, which I used to commute to work, get groceries, etc. Bikes are quiet, unlike cars and trucks on roads or trains on tracks. A bike trail is an amenity, not a burden. Thanks.

  22. Carl Yergen permalink
    December 16, 2013 4:50 am

    I too have hunted and fished the Salmonberry for 50 years or so. I want to see that continue forever. I also think that a trail would be wonderful. I don’t think it needs to be a State Park to be a viable hiking/biking trail. I’m 61 my main concern is that it will take so long to happen that I will be too old to ride it.

  23. Nathan Roll permalink
    December 17, 2013 9:30 am

    As a “Portland Cyclist” I think this is a fantastic idea. I’ve ridden 6 to Tillamook a few times and it’s lets than ideal. This would not only provide a carfree route to the coast for non motorized users, it would allow us to drink in the beauty of the stream and the coast range. It will also bring business to the small towns in the vicinity. The adjacent Oregon Coast bike route is already an international draw and this could easily add to it’s appeal.

  24. William O'Brien permalink
    December 25, 2013 1:49 pm

    The Salmonberry canyon is a special place that needs to be protected for the fish in the river and the game in the field as well as the public’s access and use.

  25. Karen Matthews permalink
    January 18, 2014 10:12 am

    I attended the Quarterly Salmonberry Corridor meeting in Wheeler today (January 17th) and was impressed with the breadth and depth of the study and Master Planning process. The meeting was well attended by all of the key players in various agencies as well as citizens of the region.

    The proposed Rails and Trails project has a huge potential for economic development of Coastal towns along the route and encouraging safe family outdoor recreation is in perfect alignment with Oregon Parks and Recreation mission. It would be a real win-win addition to the citizens of Oregon to have this resource available for public use in perpetuity.

  26. Dustin permalink
    January 19, 2014 10:36 am

    I think this is a great idea, a paved trail to the coast would open up so many possibilities for a scenic bike route and great organized rides. I think they should fund it with a pay to use system kind of like a toll route. This would help keep it in good shape and pay for services to keep it safe and fun.

  27. Anonymous permalink
    January 20, 2014 9:48 am

    I probably fish the Salmonberry River imore than anyone! I have been a professional guide (Oregon, Alaska, Kamchatka-Russia), and can easily
    say that the Salmonberry River is my all time number one place to fish for Steelhead. I will be a sad should the Salmonberry be closed to fishing.

  28. Rail and trail supporter permalink
    February 3, 2014 1:49 pm

    It would be nice to see both the rail line and the trail co-exist. Pulling up the rails would be a huge mistake. Scenic excursions on the railroad would open this area up to those with disabilities. This does not have to be a one or the other proposition. I think both the trail and rail can coexist. There are other examples across the country that shows it can.

    • Anonymous permalink
      June 6, 2014 4:13 am

      people with disabilities
      can not ride the train

    • Dave permalink
      June 6, 2014 4:16 am

      people with disabilities, can not ride the train, it is not handicap accessible.

  29. February 21, 2014 3:43 am

    I have documented several Rails-To-Trails projects. My focus is trails that are ADA accessible for Veterans but also easy hikes that can be done by novice hikers wanting to improve their health. I am very involved with the Klickitat Rail Trail which has many of the same property owner concerns as expressed here. After over ten years the KRT has proven to be an asset to the community and a revenue generator for local business. Hikers, as a rule, are very respectful of property owner’s rights and live a “leave no trace” lifestyle. The only problems I have every seen are car breakins at trailheads done by LOCA:L hoodlums…

  30. Kastara permalink
    June 17, 2014 9:42 am

    I would love to see it open for trains. Besides possible jobs, my husband and I can not walk or ride much any more. Train rides would be wonderful, and hopefully, would be an economic benefit.

  31. June 25, 2014 10:56 am

    I can’t wait! I’ve lived along the tracks for about 90% of my life. I hope we can eventually have a paved trail, I would bicycle to banks and Tillamook on a regular basis… and spend money! Imagine all the new business this trail would bring!

  32. Jaeden permalink
    June 25, 2014 12:47 pm

    What are you going to do when the motorcycles/atv’s, which by the way have already been showing up on the lower, more accessible stretches for quite a while, pass you up above? Are we ever going to see the remnants of the rail system that lie on the bottom of the river (leaching creosote ties / steel rail) or that still hang suspended on the cut banks removed? What about the illegal fishing that goes on now? Am I to understand that these activities will somehow decrease, or lingering issues be resolved, with more access?
    Then first and foremost, what about the fish, big game, foul and other “locals” that call this area home? Is this plan in THEIR best interest? As it is right now, the Salmonberry carries more than it’s share of pressure, why do we need to put even more stress on this fragile system?
    Folks who want to go to this wonderful backcountry area, can do it just fine, just the way it is right now. Leave this gem alone, she needs time to heal, not more scars.

  33. Patrik permalink
    June 30, 2014 3:07 am

    I walked in from the mouth to Enright last weekend and the thing that struck me the most is the wall of foliage that dominates the right of way at the end of the rehabilitated line for the tourist train.
    The railroads and government agencies don’t talk about how the road was kept clear since 1911, when it officially opened.
    The use of defoliants, herbicides and such have been used for decades on that road and all railroads to keep them clear. How many hundreds, maybe thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals have been sprayed on the road only to leach into the Salmonberry, down into the Nehalem and on into the Pacific, eventually leading up the food chain to humans and affecting all life forms along the way?
    In fact, those keeping the road opened up to the first wash had very recently, likely that week, used some kind of spray as evident in the dieing off of the growth along the road.
    Where the use of their spray ends is very evident as from the end of their spraying, it is like walking into a wall of foliage from that point on.
    Is there any kind of risk walking in an area so contaminated with herbicides & defoliants?
    I don’t have an answer and there are likely several versions of scientific “facts” for both camps.
    I have made a comment earlier in this discussion saying leave this area to itself.
    If one walks this section of the road, you can plainly see the “human effect” with the “tagging” of the water tank and sided log cars in Enright, once the road is opened up as planned, well, I think it will be over for any “wilderness” experience that those promoting this trail are touting.
    And what of the few houses and cabins along the road? Has there been any consideration for those people? How will they be able to secure them with such an influx of people?
    Lets face a few things here. There appears to be a large amount of money behind this plan and as the old saying goes, “those with the gold make the rules”.
    Once this plan is accepted and goes official, this road will become a paved path for bicycles, period. Sure, multi-use will be the lip service from the agencies, but it will be a paved bicycle path. It is likely that user group will have the largest effect to push this plan through.
    You only have to look a few miles northeast to the B to V linear trail.
    In closing, to those who appreciate the area as it stands and has been for decades, enjoy it now as best you can.
    A wind of change is blowing in for the Salmonberry and I am very sorry to say, I don’t believe it will be stopped.


  34. July 21, 2014 12:10 am

    I rode the Banks to Vernonia Rails-to-trails path yesterday. IT WAS AMAZING! I met dozens of people enjoying the path, many if not most, were older or families with children. When I reached Venionia the two eateries I visited had lines of people waiting (all cyclists). Anyone with a business interest should see the huge upside of bringing cyclists into your town- no excess car parking, no car exhaust, just healthy hungry customers!

    I want to see the Salmonberry trail happen because this will enable more people to get healthy exercise, it will keep many bicyclist of the highways (making both the trail and highways safer), and it will bring much needed commerce into the beach towns that I love.

    I have driven Foss Rd. a number of times. All the car traffic must be worse for the ecosystem than quiet, exhaust free visitors. I believe the more eyes (people looking out for each other) you have in an area, the safer it will be.

  35. Luann Glielmi permalink
    August 23, 2014 9:41 am

    I just read about this proposed trail In the RAILSTOTRAILS magazine! If you build it I will come to ride it! I will drive all the way crom Wisconsin to do it! This trail sounds amazing! Go Oregon!

  36. Zeppo permalink
    September 2, 2014 11:03 pm

    Luann, I have traveled to Wisconsin to ride your many lovely rail-trails. The
    Glacial Drumlin Trail is my favorite so far. Hope to see you here soon!

  37. railonly permalink
    September 4, 2014 3:31 pm

    I pray this trail doesn’t happen. It’s simply not worth it.

    • Zeppo permalink
      September 5, 2014 4:20 am

      Not worth it? Right now I can’t ride my bike safely from Portland to the lovely Oregon Coast. I can’t breathe the fresh mountain air or see the wonderful sights of the Coast Range, unless I get in my car. How much is providing a healthful, safe alternative worth? I’d say it’s “priceless.”

      And in fact I’ll bet the smart folks who are planning the trail actually *can* calculate the worth of the trail – what it’s worth to local merchants and businesspeople and restaurateurs and innkeepers who will benefit economically from the trail; what it’s worth to cyclists, hikers, walkers, fisherpeople, photographers, birdwatchers, wheelchair athletes, and horseriders who will pay good money to travel to the trail and enjoy it for a day or more; what it’s worth to the collective health of Oregonians and visitors who will live longer, healthier lives and have lower healthcare costs.

      I pray this trail DOES happen, and I think all of us will be the better for it.

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