This week, we explore a corner of the state whose prime time has arrived for scenic adventure that you must peddle to enjoy.
But this is no ordinary cycling adventure – rather, it’s a new form of railroading that will get your heart rate going and leave you with mile wide smiles when you join the Oregon Coast Rail Riders.
Nate Bell says if you can sit, you can join the Rail Riders. Bell is the lead guide for a new way to see Tillamook County. Oregon Coast Rail Riders offers a two-hour round trip that begins in Bay City and stretches south on unused railroad track in Tillamook County.
Photos: Coastal Rail Riders
The 12-mile trip is the brainchild of Kim Metlen – an Oregon entrepreneur we met last summer in Joseph, Oregon where his rail rider trip between Joseph and Enterprise has proven popular and an absolute blast for locals and visitors alike.
Metlen, a former cycling store owner, designed the cars (or are they bikes?) three years ago. He launched the rail riding business that shows off the countryside on a 12-mile stretch from Joseph to Enterprise.
He says, the word spread like wildfire and folks in Tillamook made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“It’s actually an in service line that is not used for commerce anymore. The best part is that you get away from everybody else and it’s so gorgeous. We ride past Tillamook Bay and cross the Wilson and Kilchis Rivers.”
There are five road crossings that require Nate Bell to raise a traffic stop sign and then move the riders along safely.
The slow poke pace is perfect for sight-seeing a coastal countryside that folks who travel nearby Coastal Highway 101 miss.
“It’s beautiful – it’s gorgeous,” exclaimed first time rail rider, Rachael Yingst. ”I love it – there’s a bit of exercise but it’s not hard to peddle at all.”
An hour into the southbound ride, it’s time to turn around – the all-aluminum frames and polyurethane wheels weigh a mere one hundred pounds.
It’s the sort of ride that puts a smile on your face, and sort of setting that keeps it there all day. It’s a rail ride unlike any train you’ve ever traveled and a fine way to explore new country.
If you would like to explore more of Oregon – consider a walk on the wild side with my new book: “Grant’s Getaways Guide to Wildlife Watching in Oregon.”
You will enjoy 48 uniquely Oregon adventures highlighting my fish and wildlife encounters. Scores of colorful photos by “Grant’s Getaways” photographer, Jeff Kastner, show off some of our finest moments in the field.
The stories offer detailed directions and promise to set you on your own path of discovery across Oregon. The new book is also available as e-book download so you can take my new book with you on the road.
Grant's Getaways is produced in partnership with Travel Oregon, as well as:
You can learn more about many of Grant’s favorite Oregon adventures in his new book: "Grant's Getaways: 101 Oregon Adventures"