Travels with the Original Easyrider®
2011 Edition

Ride to Scappoose, Oregon
And hike the Crown-Zellerbach Trail
50 mile round trip ride from Portland,
and an approximately 34 mile round trip hike
done in segments that started on December 16, 2010

There is an updated (2014) Crown Zellerbach trail report HERE.

Part one - Chapman Landing to the Nahalem Divide Summit
Part two - Nehalem Divide Summit to Pittsburg
NOTE: The "official" CZ Trail does not go to Vernonia
Part three - Camp 8
Part four - Crown Zellerbach Nahalem Divide Train Tunnel (East Portal)
Crown Zellerbach Nahalem Divide Train Tunnel (West Portal)
Part five - Camp 8 to Vernonia, linking up with the
Banks-Vernonia Linear Park Trail

2014 update: Crown Zellerbach Trail hike

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The current 17 mile Crown-Zellerbach Trail will eventually link up with the Banks-Vernonia
Trail. That segment of this hike is fully documented HERE

GPSr tracks are included here (for free) in TPX format. Enjoy!

Crown-Zellerbach Trail
approval, funding, construction and so forth has been an on-going process for
the past several years. I'll try to keep this web page up-to-date as progress
is made. This initiative started in 1993 due to a VERY forward thinking County
Commissioner. It's been a long road (pun intended) to get the project this far.

The CZ Logging Road began as the Portland-Southwestern Railroad in the early 1900s.
The railroad carried logs from Vernonia to Chapman Landing from around 1905 to 1945
when the railroad was discontinued. When Crown Zellerbach purchased the property, it
removed the tracks and ties and began transporting logs by truck. After Crown
Zellerbach sold the property to Hancock Timber, the logging road was no longer used
to transport logs, but Hancock maintained it as a company fire and access road.
Part of the plans for the trail include an emphasis on the logging industry. The
trail will provide interpretive opportunities which detail Oregon's historic logging
past as well as information on current logging practices. A portion of the property,
the Nehalem Divide Tunnel constructed in the early 1900s, is listed on the National
Registry of Historic Places.

The Crown-Zellerbach Trail "officially" starts at Chapman Landing,
at the end of Columbia Road, next to the Multnomah Channel, Scappoose, Oregon
Lat. 45 44.7059 Long. 122 50.4500 although there is no trailhead
or even parking here. There are plans to build a proper park at this location
at some future date. Time will tell....

The Columbia County Rider (bus service) may be an option for getting to/from trailheads
They offer FlexRoute service between Scappoose and Vernonia on Tuesdays and Thursdays
each week. That route runs 3 round trips each of those days. Contact CC Rider for details.

The current trail runs very close to and parallel with the Scappoose-Vernonia
Highway. It begins at Chapman Landing in Scappoose and ends in Pittsburg where
the SV Hwy meets Route 47.

Chapman Landing used to be some sort of a shipping terminus, possibly for
logs harvested further North. There's not much left now... looks like the site
has been abandoned since the 1950's if not earlier.

Chilly day but dry and somewhat sunny at least. Lots of snow up in the mountains.
That's Mount Saint Helens off in the distance and Mount Rainier even further in
the distance. The Northern end of Sauvies Island is across the channel. This part
of the island has no roads and is uninhabited.

This report was submitted by Steve Van Laer: I grew up very near the "loggin' road"
and Chapman Landing in the '50s-'60s. Our house was on Miller Rd., named for Jimmy
Miller, my Grandfather's brother-in-law. My Grandmother was Bonnie M. Erickson, founder
of the Scappoose Spotlight newspaper.

I remember 12' railroad pilings from the end of Miller Rd. eastward over the duck lakes.
The relic pilings that once paralleled the dike were for the log train from Vernonia to
run out over the water so they could dump the logs directly into the river. Originally
it was quite long, as you could imagine. Most of the remaining pilings burned; seems
like in the '80s.

The large concrete pad based a derrick that was used to off-load logging trucks. The
derrick was painted, in it's later years, bright silver and could be seen from the
highway. I can remember a time when most of the Multnomah Channel was lined, on both
shores, from Sauvie (that's So-Vee) Island Bridge to St. Helens with log rafts. I spent
many hours on that stretch of river; hunting, fishing, boating. Hope this was helpful.

ABOVE: Chapman Landing
BELOW: Mount Saint Helens

There's some nice mountain views here on a clear day.

This is the dock, such as it is. Looks like there was some fairly recent erosion
prevention construction done here, possibly in anticipation of building a City
park here.

That's Sauvies Island across the water

The foundation for some sort of a tower... possibly a crane for ship loading

The only regular residents here now are water fowl.

There is a turn-out on Dike Road with a well-worn footpath to Chapman Landing
although this looks like private property to me. However, there are ample
parking opportunities in the area if you want to start this hike at the very beginning.

Saw some nice color considering that its the dead of Winter....

There's also some parking by E. Columbia Avenue and Dike Road.

So off we go, down the Crown-Zellerbach Trail.

After about a mile you get into the City streets... but on a clear day like
today you are rewarded with great Mountain views. Mount Saint Helens, Mount
Rainier, Mount Adams and Mount Hood.

Mount Adams

Well, dog is on a leash anyway....

There are a lot of interesting, old structures along the way as well
as a LOT of derelict old cars and trucks.

BELOW: This is the end (or beginning) of the last mile and a half.

Mount Saint Helens (left) and Mount Adams (right)

A nice view of Mount Adams.

This is the first signage for the Crown-Zellerbach Trail right at Highway
30 and the Scappoose-Vernonia Highway. Room for quite a few vehicles at this
trailhead but there are no parking signs all over. An odd policy for a City
that ostensibly wants to encourage the use of this trail. You'll need to travel
Northwest on the S-V Hwy for two miles to get to the "official" trailhead where
parking is allowed.

Mount Saint Helens. And Mount Rainier to the far left

A babbling drainage conduit. It's been raining at flood levels all week.

There are several benches along this segment which are welcome. But as you
can see, you are not more than 20 feet from this heavily traveled highway

So here we are at the official trailhead, 2 miles Northwest of Route 30 and
across the street from the B&B Market. This is where I started this segment
of the hike.

Lat. 45 47.0174 Long. 122 54.1691

$51 for a carton of smokes. Yikes!!!!

This was a nice, 8 1/2 mile round trip walk with nice scenery that you
can take pretty much any time of the year. Stay tuned as I post information
about the rest of this trail

TPX file

We've been in the deep freeze here in Portland, in between monsoon-style rains.
December 21, 2010 was a half way decent, almost dry day with toasty temperatures in
the low 40s. So I'm off to document the next segment of the Crown-Zellerbach Trail.
I'll be starting at the B&B Market trailhead described earlier once again. Head out
from here on a Northwesterly heading this time.

Off we go... this trail is ADA for about 2 miles or so and then starts to
get a little rough. After about 3 1/2 miles the paved, improved trail turns
into a footpath. The guys behind promoting this as a 17 mile
hiking/biking/equestrian trail have some more work to do, IMHO.

BELOW: A relatively minor obstacle compared to what's to come

The Creek is flowing so fast the roar is deafening. And you are never more
than a few thousand yards from the highway

Parts of the trail are downright soggy with all of the local flooding

Getting a little frosty up here.
Some nice views though.

These "keep out" signs date back to when Cavenham Forest Industries ran logs
down this road, apparently.

I'm guessing this old building supported logging operations. Looks like it's
been abandoned for at least 50 years.

About 3 3/4 miles from the B&B Market Trailhead the road turns into a somewhat
seldom traveled path. I'm wondering what happened to the logging road...

Not looking too good....
Very muddy. Very slippery. And a long drop.

A few hundred feet down the shoreline you come to these fallen trees. There is
a FAINT trail on the other side of Alder Creek. And no sign of a continuing trail
on this side. The river is flowing very fast, looks deep and I'll bet that the
water is cold. That and the wet, mossy coating on the tree bridge convinced
me to turn back and do this another day. I'm 3.85 miles from the B&B Market.

It's supposed to be another 7 miles to the Scaponia Recreation Site and another
1/4 mile or so to Cater Road.

3/6/12 UPDATE: A local resident sent me some pictures of the equipment and material
being put in place to build a bridge over Alder Creek. This is a much needed
trail improvement...glad to see that the County was able to raise the funds for this

The bridge has been installed and it's a very nice bridge at that. For an update
click HERE.

The crossing is higher and longer than it looks on camera.

About a mile back, the CZ Trail crosses Walker Road. It's only a few hundred
yards up Walker Road from the Scappoose-Vernonia Highway to the trail. There is
ample parking for several vehicles on either side of the road and there aren't
any no parking signs up (yet).

For future reference, I will refer to this location as the Crown-Zellerbach
Walker Road Trailhead.

TPX file

December 23, 2010

I cheated a little and rode up to Cater Road and then backtracked to Alder Creek.
The creek crossing really was impossible unless you don't mind risking a plunge
into frigid water.

Here's a look at the tree bridge across Alder Creek from the other side.

It's maybe another 100 feet and the trail widens and is paved again.
I gotta wonder what happened to the road and bridge that the log trucks used..

This trail runs along a lot of private property. Here's an interesting bridge.

Cater Road has a couple of very small areas for parking but there are better
trailheads further down The Scappoose-Vernonia Highway.

I think this is Cedar Creek... it's also roaring with flood water.

It's well compacted gravel for the next 6 miles of this segment and beyond.

You're still only feet from the highway but that will change in a couple of miles.

There's room for several cars at the Hale Road "trailhead".

There's some interesting buildings along this stretch. This looks like it used
to be a school of some sort. I'd love to get some pictures of these structures
when they were new[er].

Chapman Grange Road (not Chapman Road which is up the highway a short way)
has ample parking for several horse trailers. This is the last "trailhead"
parking opportunity for quite a ways. There is a tiny amount of parking at
Chapman Road but you need to be careful not to block access to the utility boxes.

The trail becomes and stays quite a bit wider from this point on.

Possibly for power company service truck access....

There's some nice homesteads along this stretch.

And some not so nice....

As well as some downright unfriendly ones....

This gate means that's it for Equestrians.

Not much in the way of trail maintenance going on out this way.

Getting up near the summit.

This point is about 14 miles from Chapman Landing.

There's no road signs but this turnout is 10 miles from Route 30 on the left side.
I think this is Pisgah Lookout Road.

It's supposed to be just another 4 miles or so to the end of this trail.
BELOW: The trail is on the other side of those boulders.

ABOVE: The Crown-Zellerbach trail actually goes under the Scappoose Vernonia Highway
at the wooden tressel in the previous picture. This bridge marks the summit of the
Coast Range Divide.

I am still in search of information and photo opportunities regarding the railroad
logging operations done in this area. Brian McCamish has an excellent web site

When I complete this trail guide for the Crown Zellerbach Linear Park trail, I will
attempt to locate and document as much as I can about the old railroad line here.

A fairly complete documentary on Shay Locomotives can be found at

TPX File

Part two - Nehalem Divide Summit to Pittsburg.


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