Certainly one of the most popular destinations along the Wilson River, the Footbridge Day Use Area has justified its popularity by offering something for everyone. First and foremost, it is an ideal swimming hole, sun bathing beach, and cliff jumping location. The beach and deep pool that are east of the footbridge are ideal spots for the kids, though the area can become quite crowded. Alternately, the basalt chasm just south of the bridge is less frequented and offers equally calm waters.
Beyond the waters immediately adjacent to the footbridge (which is also a popular spot for anglers), the site also serves as a trailhead for the Wilson River Hiking Trail. Head 1.4 miles up the trail to reach Wilson Falls and an additional 1.7 miles to make it all the way to the Tillamook Forestry Center. You will also find plenty of uncrowded swimming holes on this route. Or, if you're not quite up for the full-on hike, the 35-foot Bridge Creek Falls is just across Highway 6 only a few minutes away.
The Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests are 45 minutes outside of Portland’s backdoor and one of the state’s best keep secrets. But these forests also have a fraught history with logging, fires and more logging. They are now 50 to 70 years into the recovery process and offer prime habitat for vibrant communities of fish and wildlife, as well as an immense array of recreational opportunities. The Wilson and Kilchis rivers host globally important runs of Chinook, chum, coho and steelhead. Both forests provide camping, biking, fishing, hunting and hiking grounds for thousands of Oregonians, and they also provide over 400,000 people with clean drinking water.
Wild Salmon Center is a founding member of the North Coast State Forest Coalition, a diverse group of over 100 businesses, governing bodies and nonprofits working to leverage public support to increase forest and streamside protection along the North Coast. These popular and biologically important areas deserve real protection. That’s why we’re asking state and federal leaders to protect 33,000 acres of land around the Wilson and Kilchis Rivers and another 8,000 acres around Kings Mountain. It’s no easy task ensuring a future for these forests but this is where you can help.
Learn more about the North Coast State Forest Coalition, on their website. Join in the coalition by signing up for their newsletter and signing on to the latest action alerts to protect the Wilson/Kilchis and Kings Mountain.
Swimming holes and cliff jumping can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable outdoor activities that pose significant risks regarding personal safety. Changing water levels, unseen rocks, and river bottoms that have shifted with currents and seasonal weather can turn a well-known jumping area into a serious hazard. Prior to engaging in these activities, extensively scout the current conditions, and understand the risks involved with serious injury and the logistical challenges of evacuation from the water so you can make safe decisions.