If the idea of dealing with blustering crowds on a hot summer day sucks every last bit of energy out of you, the Wilson River in the Tillamook National Forest including the Footbridge area would prove to be the best swimming hole for you. The serenity of the Wilson River Footbridge will release every bit of tension you are holding on to.
It would not be an exaggeration to state that this might be the most inviting and the calmest stretch of slow-moving water that you will find in the entire Pacific Northwest. The beach is made of river rocks and is not sandy which may be a turn-off for some, but the large rocks are equally comfortable to relax and enjoy the sun.
This spot features much deeper pools near the cliffs and under a footbridge. Also, there are shallow places for wading and kids splashing. Rapids are used for tubing and cliffs are popular for jumping. Do not jump from the footbridge. The level of water underneath the bridge varies and bridge jumping can be extremely dangerous.
There are other excellent swimming spots along the Wilson River:
Cautions: Cliff and bridge jumping, slippery rocks are associated with risks, please use caution and make safe decisions.
Wilson River Trail is a 21-mile moderate scenic trail extending from Elk Creek to Keenig Creek Trailheads. This trail can be accessed from different points including the Footbridge Trailhead.
The trailhead is located on the opposite side of the river. Park your car at the day-use parking area, cross the footbridge, and hike 0.3 miles to a junction with the Wilson River Trail. The route on the left is the 6.1-mile moderate trail for hikers and mountain bikers to Keenig Creek. For Jones Creek and Smith Homestead Day-Use Areas, take a right at the junction and hike 3.5 miles.
Footbridge 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, drinking water at Tillamook Forest Center
Activities: Swimming, fishing, hiking
Accommodations: Keenig Creek Campground - 1.1 miles southeast
Distance from the parking: Short
Road access: Any passenger vehicle
Day-use fees: None
Elevation: 400 ft (122 m)
Footbridge Day-Use Area is located:
- 19.6 miles northeast of Tillamook
- 53 miles west of Portland
- 92 miles northwest of Salem.
Directions to Footbridge
- Travel 19.6 miles on Highway OR-6 northeast to milepost 20 at the Footbridge Day-Use Area (on your left).
- Drive on US 26 west to Highway OR-6
- Bear slight left onto OR-6 towards Banks or Tillamook
- Continue 31.6 miles on OR-6 to the destination on the right.
Oregon State Forest