Distance: 7.2 miles (out & back total)
Fitness Difficulty: Easy (its flat the whole way)
Technical Difficulty: Moderate
You will walk along many railroad ties that do not have any dirt right below them and across a 105 year old bridge (Big Ben Bridge) that is maybe a hundred feet over the forest floor. I did feel safe along the trail, but if you aren’t comfortable with heights, this may not be the best hike for you. Most of the hike is shaded which kept the things nice and cool! I think a rainy day would make this hike pretty stressful because it would be easy to slip on the railroad ties.
Trailhead: https://goo.gl/maps/69Sa32R4Dm42 The road to get to the trailhead was pretty good, you’ll drive on gravel and dirt roads (so a car with low clearance isn’t ideal but a car with higher clearance is fine) but we had no troubles with our car/SUV combo.
Route (with mile markers): http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/gp/bookmark/view/id/6899936 turn around at Wolf Creek Bridge
Instagrammable Factor: A
We went at the end of June so the wildflowers were lovely. You really only see 2 photos of the trail in most blog posts: Big Ben Bridge & Wolf Creek Bridge but there’s much more than just that! There’s tunnels, foliage & obviously overgrown railroads.
Family Friendly? Some blog posts I read say this is a family friendly hike, but my parent’s assessment was only if your children are like 11+ years old.
History! The Salmonberry Trail is a really neat rails to trails initiative that came about after a bad storm in 2007 that rendered the rails unable to be restored for train use. BUT is has paved the way for this great trail system! This trail is not currently maintained, so you need to be careful in some sections. There’s an initiative to make this a maintained trail from Banks to the coast which would awesome! The whole trail could also be washed away forever in another bad storm next year which is why I felt the urgency to check it out on my last trip to Oregon. The hike is remote with no services and stunningly beautiful!
Also, this is the post I thought was most helpful in preparing for this hike. Its 3 years which is why I thought it needed a little updating, but its still a very good resource.