Tillamook State Forest ORP

Tillamook State Forest ORP

If you have never been off-roading in Oregon, take a look at Tillamook State Forest. Much of the Tillamook forest we know today was part of a massive forest fire in 1933 that burned over 350,000 acres. Another fire in 1939 burned a further 190,000, and again in 1945, 190,000 more acres were burned. Much of this land base was held by several logging companies and were foreclosed on by the state for unpaid taxes. A massive reforestation effort took place with citizens planting over 1 million seedlings, a mere one percent of what was eventually planted by every means including prison labour and helicopter drops. In 1973, the area recovered to the point that the Tillamook burn was designated as the Tillamook State Forest.

Tillamook State Forest ORPToday, much of the forest is open to the public with 4×4, OHV and hiking trails crossing the area. At certain times of year, and during logging activity, there are trail closures to help keep the trails stable. There are lots of links online to help you plan any visit to the area, with over 250 miles of well-mapped trails with lists of current trails that are closed for various reasons.

I have four wheeled in the area twice over the years with tour groups, and have travelled a mix of trail levels from easy to extreme all around the area. Brown’s Camp is a popular entry point for 4x4s. The trail system is located east of Tillamook off highway 6 and accessed from Portland, along Highway 26 to the eastern point of Highway 6, then west towards Tillamook. There are several trail access points and a wide array of trail levels. I’ve experienced slick mud, rock piles and even deep snow on my visits to the area. And plenty of winching, even with well-built rigs on the harder trails.

There are also organized events taking place from May to October, with local clubs hosting events that you might be able to join to get a taste of the area without worrying about getting lost or on a trail harder than you had planned. For 2017, the Pistons Wild club (I joined them on a BFG outstanding trails trip in another part of Oregon), The Jolly Jeepers, Cascade Cruisers, Flat Broke 4-Wheelin and others are all hosting events in the area.

Check out these links (though there are plenty with a web search) for lots of information, downloadable trail maps, links to camping, both motorized and non-motorized trails and more, and get planning your next trip to beautiful Oregon’s OHV opportunities – and don’t be surprised if you see me heading down to the sand dunes on I-5 this summer. That’s another great Oregon wheeling adventure not to miss!





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