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Astoria Demonstration Forest Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Small creek crossing, Wellness Trail, Astoria Demonstration Forest (bobcat)
Elk skull, Astoria Demonstration Forest (bobcat)
Nurse stump and hemlock, Wellness Trail, Astoria Demonstration Forest (bobcat)
The trail system at the Demonstration Forest (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo


Hike Description

If you’re in the Astoria area, this short walk is a good introduction to forestry practices and the pros and cons of various management techniques. Large interpretive signs explain these at various stations along a path through plantations of Douglas-fir and western hemlock. In addition, you can extend the outing to walk up the Wellness Trail, which takes you through skunk-cabbage wetlands and up a hillside of more natural woodland.

From the information kiosk at the trailhead, walk up to your right in a mixed forest with Douglas-fir dominating. Note the interpretive sign for the Demonstration Forest. Reach a lawn and another sign at the Clatsop State Forest headquarters. To your right is the C.J. Reed Arboretum, a small collection of identified trees, both native and exotic. To continue on the Demonstration Forest Loop, keep left to skirt the edge of the woods and reach a cable gate. Past the gate, go right on a road and head into forest with examples of thinned and unthinned plantations. A couple of elk skulls ornament the bases of trees. Pass through Douglas-fir/western hemlock plantings with a pruned stand on the right and an unpruned stand on the left. At a junction, keep right and walk by an overgrown hemlock plantation on the left. The trail enters a small stand of older forest and reaches a gravel road.

Go left 20 yards on the road, and then go right at the junction with the graveled “Wellness” Trail. Walk by a picnic table, and then cross a skunk-cabbage gully. Drop a little, passing by a large hemlock. Cross a wetland on a footbridge, and hike gently upward with a powerline corridor to the right. At a junction with a rock-paved track, go right and hike up under the powerlines. Make a traverse in a natural woodland of Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and elderberry. Rise through a salmonberry thicket and reach a logging road.

You have two options here: you can go right around the logging road, which loops down to the Wellness Trailhead; or you can return the way you came, taking the rock-paved track down past a skunk-cabbage/bulrush swamp to reach the trailhead.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Trail closed 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.
  • Picnic tables and information kiosk

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • none

More Links


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.