Railriding at the Oregon Coast
What do you do with a railroad that is no longer used by a train? You put recumbent bikes on it and pedal through the coastal countryside. Oregon Coast Railriders is a totally unique experience on the Oregon Coast, and is one of the most popular activities in Tillamook County.
Cross rivers and pass farms
The two-hour, 11-mile round trip is enjoyed by all ages and abilities, and offers a fresh look at the coastal environment. Starting in Bay City, you’ll get a ground’s eye view of bays, rivers, trestles, farms, cows, horses, fish, even the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Perfect for nature enthusiasts, birders, rail fans, family events and group activities.
Recently, the railriders added another Tillamook County route to their list. You can now ride the rails from Wheeler, following the Nehalem River through dense forest tunnels in the mountains, for a beautiful 2-hour round trip.
Watch the Grant’s Getaways segment on riding the rails.
How it works
Riders take their seats, along with two guides for each trip, one at the front, one at the back of the group. After a leisurely 6-mile trek out (for the Bay City-based ride, you’ll end up in Tillamook; for the Wheeler ride, you’ll end in the mountains), you’ll hop out and the guides will use a special platform to swivel the seats around. Once everyone’s flipped, you head back to your starting point.
An inclusive adventure
If you can sit, you can rail ride. The recumbent bikes are much more accommodating than a regular bike seat, and because the whole group—there are four seats to each car— shares the work of pedaling, it’s a team “sport” and folks can pitch in as they’re able without anyone falling behind. That makes riding the rails a great activity if your group has young kids or anyone with mobility challenges. In fact, there are no age restrictions at all. The company says it has welcomed infants and 80-year-olds in the past! For toddlers or babies, riders can bring their own car seat, and the crew will help attach it to the rail car.
Know before you go
The cars head out on schedule, rain or shine, so plan accordingly! Wear layers, as your core temp may change throughout the trip (you’ll heat up as you get pedaling—or feel a chill as the wind rushes past you). Bring your own water and sun protection; think a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen for a sunny day. Given all the beautiful scenery you’ll see from the rails, a point-and-shoot camera is a good way to preserve the memories you’ll make.
Book your ride at www.ocrailriders.com. The company does give preference to reservations made in advance, so it’s a good idea to book beforehand.
For more information on what the trips are like, watch Drew Carney of KGW-TV and Kohr Harlan of KOIN TV take the rails for a ride.