An 86-mile bike and walking trail between the Portland metro area and the Oregon Coast is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has given the Salmonberry Trail project $30,000 to look at the economics and health benefits of turning the old Port of Tillamook Bay rail line into a trail.
“The idea would be in places where it’s still feasible to have the rail be there, but to have the trail right next to it,” said Doug Decker with the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust.
“In other places, there’s a stretch across the top of the Oregon Coast Range, you know storm damage, bridges out, trestles broken, rails in the river, that kind of thing. That’s not a place where you’re going to want to put rails back,” said Decker.
The trail isn’t likely to take shape for a while. It took 30 years to establish the Banks Vernonia Linear Trail, which is a former rail corridor.