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About the Author

Karl Wirsing is the former editor-in-chief of Rails to Trails. He now works for the University of Washington in Seattle, and his office sits just feet from the Burke-Gilman Trail.

by Karl Wirsing

It's late August in northwestern Oregon, and a brilliant blue sky has opened over the port city of Astoria.

A familiar "ding ding, ding ding" chimes behind you as a red trolley car ambles by, the conductor waving a smiling hello. Overhead, the Astoria-Megler Bridge, the largest truss bridge in the world, arcs out across the Columbia River toward the hazy hillsides of Washington State. Seagulls perch atop wooden pilings from old canneries, sea lions pile on top of each other for a space in the sun and deep-sea freighters barrel through the sparkling channel. The scene is yours to savor, because at your feet is the Astoria River Trail. Stretching the entire length of the city's waterfront, the railtrail is your avenue to local restaurants and breweries, fish processors, museums and dozens of attractions in between. You'll want to stroll every inch of it.

Read Karl Wirsing's article, including extended Travel Facts, as it appeared in the print magazine:

 Destination: Oregon (PDF 924KB)

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