Places to See in Oregon--Tillamook Forest Center
A Pleasant Surprise!
My grand-son and I visited the The Tillamook Forest Center, in the Tillamook State Forest, Tillamook Oregon, this last weekend and we were pleasantly surprised!
The Center has something for everyone to see and enjoy, both inside and outside.
40 Ft Lookout Tower
Interesting Adventures for All Ages
Outside, there are alot of interesting adventures!
You can climb the 40 Ft Lookout Tower to view the surrounding area and imagine what you would do if you saw smoke coming from somewhere in the forest.
At the top of the tower is a one room recreation of a smoke tower lookout's home.
In this small room there is a small cot to sleep on, a small stove to cook on, and a two way radio to call for help.
Also outside, was a suspension bridge that crossed the Wilson River that is right behind the Center.
If it had been salmon season we could have watched the salmon returning up the river.
As it was, it made for a pleasant walk and view, and I had the chance to take some beautiful pictures of the rapid water and surrounding forest.
We did get to see some kayaks pass by.
There were steps that allowed us to walk down to access a path by the river and a bench to rest on. It was fun to just sit and think of what might have taken place here many years before, as history says Calapuya Indians and some of the first explorers and settlers in Oregon lived near by.
There are also many hiking trails throughout the forest. One trail will take you to the early homestead of a couple who blazed a 13 mile trail to build a home there in the forest, and the trail later became a wagon and stagecoach route.
Suspension Bridge over the Wilson River
Inside the Center, you can view a short movie of the what is called the "Tillamook Burn" which shows the power and devastation of a forest fire.
Tillamook Forest had a series of intense fires between 1933 and 1951 which blackened 550 square miles, however thousands of Oregonians pitched in and hand planted more than 72 million Douglas Fir trees and the forest was reborn.
The Forest is now a beautiful green place once again, full of life and a joy to visit and explore.
Informative and Fun Experience
Also inside, are various interactive displays that educate one about trees, the history of logging, facts about the tree replanting that was done, and about the Salmon that come up the Wilson River which runs directly behind the Center .
Staff naturalists are on hand to assist with any questions, or to guide you on a tour.
There is also a Gift Shop that is well stocked with great souvenirs.
And of course, Smokey the Bear is standing watch just inside the doorway!
He is a wood statue about 6ft tall and loves to have his picture taken with visitors!
"Smokey and Me"
"Steam Donkey" Display
Our favorite display was of a "Steam Donkey".
These huge machines, invented in 1880, were used in logging operations to haul the logs to waterways, railroads, and mills.
My grand-son was quite interested in this and we had the opportunity to ask one of the staff naturalists some questions.
It was a great history lesson for both of us as neither of us had ever heard of a "Steam Donkey" before.
I am sure my grand-son went online as soon as he got home to do more research on the subject.
Great Place to Visit!
All in all, we had quite a wonderful visit to this Center.
I would recommend it highly to anyone. Admission is free.
Check out the Links listed below for more information.
Interesting and Informative Links
A Pictorial Slideshow of Our VisitClick thumbnail to view full-size
Directions to Tillamook Forest Center
Tillamook Forest Center
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2009 Leona J Atkinson