Wilson River - Smith Homestead

• Smith Homestead is a popular day-use facility in the Tillamook State Forest
• A scenic stretch of the Wilson River with fishing, swimming, and picnicking opportunities

The popular day-use facility, Smith Homestead and Jones Creek Day-Use Areas are located within the boundary of the Tillamook State Forest along the Wilson River. The 364,000-acre Coast Range Tillamook State Forest is the largest state forest in Oregon. This coastal forest offers a wide range of opportunities for education and outdoor activities.

If you drive along the Wilson River, stop in at the Tillamook Forest Center to learn about the unique flora and fauna of the Tillamook Forest, fascinating local history including remarkable forest recovery after four devastating fires of 1933-1951. The visitor center offers educational programs, interpretive exhibits, and field trips.

Situated on the southern bank of the river, Smith Homestead is a historic site and one of the must-visit places which has its own remarkable history. In 1886, the first settlers Walter and Alice Smith moved here and staked the first homestead claim at this place that is now known as the Smith Homestead Day-Use Area. The site is accessible by short trails where you can learn the story of early pioneers via interpretive signs. The day-use area has picnic tables, restrooms, a large shelter that can be rented for events or educational programs, and easy access to the river.

Jones Creek Day-Use Area with picnic sites and river access is located on the northern bank of the river, 0.5 miles from Smith Homestead.


During thesummer months, visitors enjoy swimming in the peaceful Wilson River from any day-use areas.

There are other excellent swimming spots along the Wilson River:

Wilson River Footbridge
Wilson River at Keenig Creek

Cautions: Slippery rocks as well as cliff and bridge jumping are associated with risks, please use caution and make safe decisions.

Wilson River - Smith Homestead

Smith Homestead - Wilson River

Smith Homestead - Wilson River

Smith Homestead - Wilson River


The Smith Homestead and Jones Creek is a beautiful destination offering hiking and mountain biking. The moderate scenic Wilson River Trail through the woods extends 21 miles from Elk Creek to Keenig Creek Trailheads. This trail can be accessed from different points including the Jones Creek Trailhead.

The trail begins at the Jones Creek Day-Use Area, the sign has been posted. For the Footbridge Day-Use Area, walk down to the river to a junction with the Wilson River Trail. Take a right and hike 3.5-miles downstream to the Footbridge Trailhead and Day-Use Area. The 11-mile route to Elk Creek  Trailhead begins from the eastern side of the gravel road at the bridge.

Camping & Accomodations

The largest in the Tillamook State Forest, Jones Creek Campground features 42 first-come-first-served campsites and 1 reservable group site. The Wilson River Trail passes at the campground providing access to swimming holes at Jones Creek Day Use Area, Smith Homestead,and the Tillamook Forest Center.

Lodging in Tillamook, 23 miles away.

Affordable vacation rentals for short and long term stay.


Smith Homestead Day-Use | Facts

Open: Year-round from sunrise to sunset
Managed by: Oregon Department of Forestry
Location: Tillamook State Forest

Amenities: Toilet, garbage service, picnic sites, picnic shelter, drinking water
Activities: Swimming, fishing, hiking

Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: None
Popularity: Moderate

Elevation: 400 ft (122 m)

Smith Homestead is located:

  • 22.3 miles northeast of Tillamook
  • 51 miles west of Portland
  • 90 miles northwest of Salem.

Swimming hole rating: 4 out of 5
Body of Water: River
Water quality: Transparent
Current: Light to Moderate
Depth: Deep and shallow
Beach: River rocks and rock formations
Water T° (summer): Cool to warm

Adventures Nearby

Directions to Smith Homestead

From Tillamook,

  • Travel 22.3 miles northeast on Highway OR-6 between milepost 22 and 23 to the Smith Homestead and Jones Creek Day-Use Areas.

From Portland,

  • Drive on US 26 west to Highway OR-6
  • Bear slight left onto OR-6 towards Banks or Tillamook
  • Continue 28.9 miles on OR-6 to the destination on the right between milepost 22 and 23.

Phone: 866-930-4646
Oregon State Forest

GPS: N 45°35.257' W 123°33.142' | 45.587613, -123.552361

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