Support is building for the development of an 84-mile section of underutilized rail-corridor between the western reaches of Portland and the Oregon coastline. Known as the Salmonberry Corridor, the line that once carried the Port of Tillamook Bay railroad now presents an opportunity for what would certainly be one of the country's most spectacular rail-trails, and a trails tourism lifeline for the region.
The Salmonberry Corridor Coalition, a group of interested stakeholders including State Senator Betsy Johnson, representatives of the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, Tillamook County and a number of state agencies have come together to explore the possibility of a trail connection along the rail line.
The group recently released a preliminary feasibility study for a rail-trail along the corridor, which as well as being a terrific example of trail planning also offers a glimpse of the enormous potential of a rail-trail that would connect the urban, the wild and the rural.
Part of the corridor is currently being used by the Oregon Coast Scenic Railway to conduct scenic tours along the coast, and the feasibility study includes the possibility of rail-with-trail in that section. That's great to see, because we have found that in instances where it is physically possible, a trail for riding and hiking can complement and enhance existing tourist rail operations.
Despite the obvious excitement for such a rail-trail, the Salmonberry Corridor Coalition is very conscious that such dreams often take time to manifest. "The Banks-Vernonia Trailtook over 30 years of planning and construction before it became the full corridor that it is today," the report reads. "Patience will be required to fulfill the initial vision."
Patience, and support. Do your bit by helping spread the word of this tremendous project, and look for ways you can get involved.