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Portland Area Region
Tillamook State Forest
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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.
History of the Area
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.
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 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.

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.

Tillamook State Forest is located near Cornelius, Forest Grove and Hillsboro

Tillamook State Forest in Oregon offers a variety of picnicking options for visitors. There are numerous picnic areas scattered throughout the forest, many with tables and grills available on a first-come-first-served basis. Some popular spots include Jones Creek Campground, Gales Creek Campground and Browns camp which have designated picnic sites near beautiful creeks or rivers providing scenic views while you eat.

For those who prefer more secluded locations, there's plenty of open space to lay down your blanket amidst towering trees or by tranquil streams. The forest is also home to several hiking trails where one can find quiet places for an impromptu meal outdoors.

Non-Motorized Trails Hiker : Non-Motorized Trails in the Tillamook State Forest are managed for a range of recreation uses. Twenty-five miles of non-motorized trails provide options for the hiker, mountain biker and horseback rider. Climb to the top of King?s Mountain for a remarkable view. Set out with your horse to explore part of the original Wilson River Wagon Road. Hop on your mountain bike for a hair-raising ride down Gales Creek Trail. The Tillamook Forest Visitor Map and Guide is available for purchase.

Off-Highway Vehicles :

The Tillamook State Forest offers some of the best Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trails in the Pacific Northwest with over 150 miles of trails. There are four main OHV trail areas on The Tillamook State Forest: Browns Camp, Jordan Creek, Trask, and Diamond Mill. The Browns Camp and Jordan Creek OHV areas in particular provide more than 100 miles of easy to most difficult motorcycle, ATV and 4WD trail opportunities. The wide variety of trails reach some of the more remote and scenic parts of the forest and provide challenge and excitement for both beginners and experts. Many OHV trails are closed at the present time. Please check the OHV Trail Report for current trail information.
Nature Programs
Free Guided Programs:

The Tillamook Forest Center will open on April 1, 2006 and will offer fascinating exhibits, outdoor trails and progams for families and students along with recreational information for forest visitors. Our interpretive program will help you discover the clues to the forest?s past, revealing the context for its management today, as well as understanding its wealth of natural history. A network of interpretive sites, media and opportunities provides an engaging way for you to "discover the Tillamook." A regular schedule of forest interpretive programs are available during the summer for visitors who may want to learn more of the natural and cultural history of the forest, and how the Tillamook is actively managed today. Check back here for more information in Spring, 2006 Do you have a group that enjoys the outdoors and would like to learn more about the Tillamook State Forest? Special arrangements can be made for your group. Call to schedule a program at least two weeks in advance of your planned program date. Group size is limited to 15. For more information contact Jen Warren, Oregon Department of Forestry: 503-359-7494; or email [email protected].

Gales Creek Overlook:

The Gales Creek Overlook invites you to stop and gaze over the revitalized forest near the eastern entry to the Tillamook Forest on the Wilson River Highway (Highway 6). This site features an expansive view of a relatively young Douglas-fir forest, planted in the 1940?s after the fires scorched nearly the entire original forest. A few remnant forest giants still stand in view along the distant ridges, reminding us of what the forest was like before that fateful day in 1933. A cedar-constructed kiosk with adjacent stone walls complements the view here, while presenting orientation information and an overview of forest history and management.

Sunset Highway Rest Area Display:

The Sunset Safety Rest Area, adjacent to the Clatsop State Forest on Highway 26, offers a display on the history of the forests and the adjacent one-third-mile Steam Donkey Interpretive Trail. The short interpretive trail loop provides an interesting history of railroad and steam logging and a refreshing pause when traveling the Sunset Highway from the Portland area to the coast.
Birdwatching enthusiasts have a variety of options in this forest located in Oregon. The area is home to numerous bird species, making it an ideal spot for observation and photography. Birders can explore the Wilson River corridor where they might see water-associated birds like mergansers or dippers. Trails such as Kings Mountain Trail offer opportunities to observe high-elevation species including sapsuckers and warblers while lowland trails may reveal sightings of owls, woodpeckers, thrushes among others.

The Jones Creek Campground provides another excellent location with its diverse habitats attracting different types of birds throughout the year. For those interested in raptors specifically, there are several viewing platforms along Highway 6 that provide great vantage points during migration seasons.

In addition to self-guided exploration on foot or by car through various routes within the forest's boundaries; guided tours led by local experts are also available at certain times providing insights into specific avian behaviors and identification techniques.

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