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. Jones Creek Campground with 43 campsites is the largest in the Tillamook State Forest.
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:
Cautions: Slippery rocks as well as cliff and bridge jumping are associated with risks, please use caution and make safe decisions.
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.
Smith Homestead Day-Use | General Description
Open: Year-round from sunrise to sunset
Managed: Oregon Department of Forestry
Location: Tillamook State Forest
Services: Toilet, garbage service, picnic sites, picnic shelter, drinking water
Activities: Swimming, fishing, hiking
Accommodations: Jones Creek Campground
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: None
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.
Directions to Smith Homestead
- Travel 22.3 miles northeast on Highway OR-6 between milepost 22 and 23 to the Smith Homestead and Jones Creek Day-Use Areas.
- 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.
Oregon State Forest