- Level: Moderate
- Length: 7.8 miles
- Elevation: 600 ft. gain
- Type: Out and back
- Open: all year
- Permit: n/a
- Drive time from Portland: 1 hour
- Google map: “Jones Creek Campground”
- Features: Tillamook State Forest, swimming holes, camping, waterfalls
- Pair with: University Falls, Vernonia Mill
This trail is such a gem because it’s only an hour from Portland, beautiful and you’re sure to find at least one promising swimming hole. Secrets revealed! Most of it nicely ambles along with only a few short inclines and declines. The only downside to it is the proximity to highway 6, which you can hear for some long stretches. Still totally worth it.
I chose this trail because I really needed to get out, even though my day-two-period-addled bod wasn’t feeling super up to task. It was the perfect choice. Blue green pools, wildflowers, waterfalls. It’s a good “talking trail,” though, I know some of y’all will talk through any damn trail.
From the trailhead:
When you pull into Jones Creek Campground, ignore the first paved lot on the right and drive over the bridge making the first left into a gravel lot. The trail is right by the sign board. Turn right along the river. After 0.4 mile you’ll reach a big suspension bridge that leads to the Tillamook Forest Center, which is free, if you wanna stomp around and explore that. Otherwise, skip the bridge. After a half mile or so, the trail joins with gravel Cedar Creek Road, ducks under a powerline, crosses Cedar Creek on a footbridge and starts to climb for a mile or so up to Wilson River Falls. I love this elusive waterfall! It’s about 60-feet tall, lacy and mostly obscured by fallen logs, so it’s kind of hard to take in and easy to just breeze by, but I thought it was mysterious. After another 1.4 miles, you’ll reach a signed T-shape junction. Turn left for the Footbridge Trailhead. From here, the trail gets kind of weird, but you won’t get lost. You’ll make a couple of left turns, cross over a little sandy island and keep your eyes open to the right for the bridge over the basalt gorge. Cross the bridge and then carefully jog left along highway 6 a little bit and cross the highway (again, carefully) to the signed, Bridge Creek Falls. Climb the stone steps to this wispy 40-foot falls and return the way you came.
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Stomping around in the Tillamook State Forest inventing new words for "green." #tillamookstateforest . . . #itakethelongway #unlikelyhiker #fathiker #dykesonhikes #wilsonriver #wilsonrivertrail #pnwonderland #cascadiaexplored #oregonexplored #pnwdiscovered #sheroams #youroregon #getoutside #womenwhohike #fatgirlscan #girlgetoutside #wildernessbabes #wanderlust #wildernessculture #naturetherapy
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So many beautiful spots on the Wilson River trail. This waterfall, Bridge Creek Falls, is accessible from the road aaaaand near some sweet river spots. #secretsrevealed #wilsonriver . . . #itakethelongway #unlikelyhiker #tillamookstateforest #bridgecreekfalls #wilsonrivertrail #fathiker #dykesonhikes #womenwhohike #fatgirlscan #girlgetoutside #wildernessbabes #sheexplores #pnwonderland #cascadiaexplored #oregonexplored #pnwdiscovered #youroregon #getoutside #wanderlust #wildernessculture #naturetherapy