Thursday, March 30, 2017

Off to a Late Start - Browns Camp Trip Planner

If you are planning to visit Browns Camp (the campground) this spring, please note that while the trails in the area are open, the campground will be opening later than usual this year.  Just like the trails, the campground was hit hard by the winter weather and the snow has just melted back enough for Recreation Staff to be able to get through all of the facility to do a damage assessment and start to write the spring maintenance project plans.  

If the mild weather holds, we should be able to finish the work needed for us to swing the gate open on Friday, April 21st.  Confirmation of the opening date will be posted on this blog by mid-April.

In the meantime, for the most up-to-date information about campgrounds, roads and trails, keep your eye on the TSF blog , on the OHV Trails Report and on the Forest Roads Report.

See you in the woods!

OHV Trail Wet Weather Riding

As we finally thaw from the winter wonderland we experienced the last few months, I want to take a moment to visit the idea of trail conservation and the impacts of riding during times of heavy rainfall and highly saturated soils. As I'm sure you all know, the trails have been virtually shut down for the past three months due to heavy snowfall, making riding in The Burn next to impossible. As the rain starts to fall and the snow starts to melt, I know everyone is chomping at the bit to get out and ride! I know I was starting to go stir crazy not being able to rip on my favorite trails in the TSF all winter and I'm sure you all felt the same. 

Now that the snow is subsiding, we're starting to see lots of people out enjoying the trails (the best part of my job). White it always brings a smile to my face seeing people out on the trails in torrential downpours (the sign of a TRUE Tillamook rider), it is also a good time to consider the impacts of riding on the trails in such conditions. When the dirt gets as saturated as it has been lately, it doesn't hold together like it does when it's dry. Add to that equation a spinning rear tire or a 450 with a heavy throttle hand at the helm, and the trails start to breakdown pretty quickly, especially on those challenging up hills that the TSF is so well known for. While I will never discourage people from riding our trails, this is a good time of year to consider which trails you ride and which direction you ride them.  On especially wet days, go down your favorite hill climb rather than going up, or on trails that are already getting rutted, choose an alternate route. Just a little bit of planning can go a long way in saving the trails from turning into a maintenance nightmare and taking valuable time away from construction projects on exciting new trail opportunities we build in the summer.

On another note, I want to say a huge thank you to all the riders who have done trail work in the forest. From carrying a folding saw on your bike to cutting a few limbs here and there on your ride, to breaking out the Pulaski or chainsaw on more extensive projects, your efforts are greatly appreciated by the entire staff at the Oregon Department of Forestry and all of the riders who benefit from your work.  This trail system is nothing without the people who use it and we're darn lucky to have a group of riders who love it as much as you all do.

Thank you again and I hope to see you all out on the trail,
Reid Brown, OHV Specialist
 

 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Weather Impacts Roads, Trails and Campgrounds

Even though spring has arrived, the weather continues to provide challenging conditions in the Tillamook State Forest. This week a large slide came down impacting Jordan Creek Road at milepost 3.6. Other recent road closures include North Fork Trask Road at the one mile and Beaver Creek Road (Aldercrest/Top of the World) at milepost 1.5. Additional road closures and temporary road restrictions are listed on the ODF website.

Winter weather has also had a heavy impact on Tillamook State Forest's trails and campgrounds. Many of the trails in higher elevations are still thick with snow and covered with downed trees. Trail users need to use caution and be prepared for a variety of weather and trail conditions.

Several of our campgrounds are still covered in snow and lots of work will be needed to get them ready for the summer camping season. Please be advised that there may be delays in opening dates as we work to assess winter damage, make repairs, address safety concerns and ready the campgrounds for your arrival.

Please visit Oregon.gov/ODF for road, trail and campground information before your next trip to the Tillamook State Forest.

Monday, March 20, 2017

TRAIL ADVISORY

Please be advised that winter conditions are still present on many of the trails in the Tillamook State Forest. Trails in the higher elevations have significant amounts of hard packed snow. All trails are impacted by winter storm damage that included downed trees. Please be prepared for difficult conditions and rapidly changing weather.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Four County Point Trail is Open

Timber sale harvest in the areas around the Four County Point trail has been completed and the entire trail is now open.