TILLAMOOK STATE FOREST
Annual Performance Measures Welcome to the Tillamook State Forest, managed by the Oregon Department of Forestry. This web site serves as your guide to better understand the past, present and future of this unique forest, located west of Portland in the northern Oregon Coast Range. The forest is divided into two districts-the Forest Grove and Tillamook. Within this web site, you will find a selection of interesting and useful information about the Tillamook State Forest: places to go, things to see and do, background on forest management activities and forest history. Whatever your interest, the Tillamook holds an abundance of opportunities for discovery, exploration and learning. Tillamook State Forest Visitor Maps are available by mail.
The Tillamook State Forest, located in the Coast Range of northwestern Oregon, has a rich history that spans centuries. Here's an overview of its historical background and significant events:
1. Native American History and Use: The area that is now Tillamook State Forest was once inhabited by Native American tribes, primarily the Tillamook and Clatsop tribes. These tribes had a deep connection with the land, utilizing the forest's resources for food, shelter, and cultural practices.
2. European Settlement and Exploitation: In the mid-1800s, European settlers arrived in the region, seeking timber and other natural resources. Logging activities intensified over the years, but the land remained largely privately-owned and operated by various timber companies.
3. Forest Fires and Replanting Efforts: In the early 20th century, several devastating forest fires swept through the Tillamook area. The Tillamook Burn, a series of fires that occurred between 1933 and 1951, destroyed much of the forest and devastated communities. Massive replanting efforts were undertaken to restore the forest, with millions of trees planted.
4. Creation of the Tillamook Burn State Forest: To manage the reforestation efforts and protect the newly established tree plantations, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) created the Tillamook Burn State Forest in 1972. It covers around 364,000 acres (147,400 hectares) and encompasses the areas affected by the earlier fires.
5. Development of Recreational Opportunities: In addition to logging and reforestation, the Tillamook State Forest gradually became a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The ODF, along with other agencies, developed hiking trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, and other recreational facilities to offer public access and enjoyment of the forest.
6. Tourism and Economic Impact: Over the years, the Tillamook State Forest has become an essential component of the region's economy, supporting outdoor recreation, tourism, and timber-related industries. The forest attracts visitors for activities like hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, mountain biking, and off-road vehicle riding.
In summary, the Tillamook State Forest carries a history of Native American utilization, deforestation, devastating fires, massive reforestation efforts, and subsequent development into a recreational destination. Today, it stands as a testament to nature's resilience and provides opportunities for visitors to experience Oregon's stunning natural beauty.
Grab your gear and come camping on the Tillamook State Forest. There are seven developed fee-site campgrounds, managed on a first-come, first-served basis. Campgrounds are set in a variety of forest and river environments. Most are open from Memorial Day through October. In addition, numerous dispersed camping opportunities exist across the forest. Please note fire restrictions that may be in effect.
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Tillamook State Forest in Oregon offers a variety of swimming options for visitors. The Wilson River is the main water body where people can swim, especially during summer when the weather is warm and inviting. There are several spots along this river that provide easy access to its clear waters.
Jones Creek Campground has a designated swimming area which tends to be popular among families with children due to its shallow depth and calm currents. Elk Creek also provides some good places for dipping into cool mountain water but it's more suitable for experienced swimmers as there could be strong undercurrents at times.
For those who prefer lake swimming, Lake Lytle near Rockaway Beach on Highway 101 might just fit their preference perfectly; although technically not within Tillamook forest boundaries, it's close enough (about an hour drive) from most parts of the state park making it accessible after hiking or camping activities inside Tillamook forest itself.
In addition, Smith Homestead Day Use Area located off highway six features deep pools perfect for cooling down after exploring nearby trails while Nehalem Falls campground situated next to North Fork Nehalem River presents another great option if you're looking forward enjoying nature by taking refreshing dips amidst lush greenery surrounding these areas.
However please note: safety should always come first - make sure conditions are safe before entering any bodies of water since rivers may have swift moving sections even though they appear calm on surface level plus lakes often contain hidden underwater hazards like rocks/logs etc., so caution must always prevail over enthusiasm!
The forest offers a variety of boating options for visitors. The Wilson and Trask Rivers are popular spots for drift boat fishing, while the Nehalem River is ideal for kayaking or canoeing with its gentle currents. For those seeking more adventure, whitewater rafting opportunities can be found on the Kilchis and Miami rivers during certain times of year when water levels are high enough.
In the lush greenery of this Pacific Northwest woodland, fishing enthusiasts can find a variety of options. The forest's rivers and streams are home to several species including steelhead trout, Chinook salmon, coho salmon and cutthroat trout. Anglers have access to these waters year-round with peak seasons varying depending on the fish type.
The Wilson River is particularly popular for its winter run of steelhead while Trask River offers excellent opportunities for catching fall chinook during their spawning season in November-December. For those interested in fly-fishing or catch-and-release angling, South Fork Trask provides an ideal location where wild cutthroat thrive.
Additionally there are numerous smaller creeks throughout that offer secluded spots perfect for casting your line away from crowds.