Tillamook State Forest, Oregon

After a morning drive through the Chehalem Hills near Newberg, Oregon, we headed to the Tillamook State Forest.  

Sign to Gales Creek Campground

Just over a century ago, the territory was served by stagecoach and was home to frontier families. Today, an easy hour’s drive west of Portland, the Tillamook State Forest has plenty of stories to tell and special places to explore. 

Our first stop within the Tillamook Forest was Gales Creek Campground.  We just couldn't resist stopping to get a closer look at this beautiful mountain stream and to stick our toes in the icy cold water.

What is this?  We assumed it was a bird's nest that had flipped over in the wind.
Dedication to Randy L. Hodges, trail builder
Wildflowers Along Gales Creek
Bridge Crossing Gales Creek
Trail guide at Gale's Creek

After drying off our feet and putting our shoes back on we headed to the Tillamook Forest Center which is an inviting escape nestled in the forest overlooking the Wilson River.  

Many rough skinned newts played in the water surrounding the Tillamook Forest Center entrance

The Tillamook Forest Center houses an interpretive center with many artifacts honoring the brave men and women who have protected the forest from fire.  There is also a lookout tower you can climb to experience what it may have been like to live and work in one of the many towers scattered through out the forest.

View of Tillamook Forest Center entrance from fire tower lookout
Interesting old forest map within the Tillamook Forest Center

We exited the Forest Center and crossed the Wilson River using the Forest Center's foot bridge/lookout.  Many hiking trails start at the end of the bridge but we just didn't have the time to hike here.  Instead we went down to the edge of the river to stick our feet in the river, again, and then headed out to the town of Tillamook, Oregon.

Fire tower - climb to the top to experience life as a cloud girl
Bridge leading out of the Tillamook Forest Center and into hiking trails along the Wilson River
Cascades along the Wilson River

Clear blue water of the Wilson River flowing under the bridge leaving the Tillamook Forest Center

Notice the foot bridge leading to hiking trails along the Wilson River

Our next stop led us to Tillamook, Oregon and the Tillamook Creamery!


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