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Hearings this week on planned trail through Coast Range

by: PHOTO BY ROB MANNING, COURTESY OF OPB  - This rail crossing goes through the proposed Salmonberry Trail in the Coast Range A proposed 86-mile trail from Washington County to Tillamook has reached the master plan stage, with public meetings coming this week.

Trail designers often call the proposed path through the Coast Range the "Salmonberry Corridor” after the Salmonberry River. That's considered the most picturesque part of the trail, but also the toughest to build, because of the steep slopes.

Much of the trail would follow railroad lines — some of which are still being used.

Architects have drafted alternatives for part of the coastal section that would allow the railroad to continue operating, with a path next to the rails. For other parts of the route, drawings suggest converting rail lines to trails, or building bypasses.

The drawings drill down to the specifics of where to locate trail heads, parking, and emergency access.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is holding two open houses this week at either end of the proposed trail — Tuesday night in Tillamook, and Wednesday night in Banks.