Explore the northwest corner of the state with a scenic adventure that you must pedal to enjoy.
But this is no ordinary cycling adventure; rather, it’s a new form of railroading that will get your heart rate going and leave you with mile-wide smiles: the Oregon Coast Railriders.
Lead guide Nate Bell says if you can sit, you can join the Railriders.
Oregon Coast Railriders offers a 12-mile, two-hour round-trip tour from Bay City to Tillamook and a 9-mile excursion that departs from Wheeler and follows the Nehalem River for a 1.5- to 2-hour trip.
Oregon Coast Railriders is the brainchild of Kim Metlen, an Oregon entrepreneur we met last summer in Eastern Oregon, where his Railriders trip between Joseph and Enterprise has proven popular with locals and visitors alike.Metlen, a former cycling store owner, first designed the cars (or are they bikes?) three years ago. Soon after he launched the Joseph Branch Railriders.
He says the word spread like wildfire and folks in Tillamook made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: “It’s actually an in-service line that is not used for commerce anymore. The best part is that you get away from everybody else and it’s so gorgeous. We ride past Tillamook Bay and cross the Wilson and Kilchis Rivers,” Metlen said.
There are five road crossings that require Nate Bell to raise a traffic stop sign and then move the riders along safely. The slow-poke pace is perfect for sight-seeing a coastal countryside that folks driving along the nearby Pacific Coast Scenic Byway miss.
“It’s beautiful; it’s gorgeous!” exclaimed first-time railrider Rachael Yingst. “I love it. There’s a bit of exercise but it’s not hard to pedal at all.”
An hour into the south-bound ride, it’s time to turn around. The all-aluminum frames and polyurethane wheels weigh a mere 100 pounds.
It’s the sort of ride that puts a smile on your face and the sort of setting that keeps it there all day. It’s a rail ride unlike any train you’ve ever traveled and a fine way to explore the coastal countryside.