Get To Know Oregon Kilchis Point Reserve

The 200-acre Kilchis Point Reserve is a work in progress. Located in Bay City, it features a host of plants and wildlife forming a variety of ecosystems.

The Tillamook County Pioneer Museum owns and maintains the reserve in public trust, overseeing trail improvements, among other aspects of the land. The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners declared the property a Tillamook County Heritage Area in 2010 owing in part to its significance as the former site of the largest Native American village on the north Oregon coast.

According to Museum staff:

“Tillamook County’s first pioneer settler, Joe Champion arrived at Kilchis Point in 1851 and lived in a spruce stump next to the Native American village while he built a cabin. The Morning Star of Tillamook was built at Kilchis Point making it the first ship built in Tillamook County and the first ship registered in the Oregon Territory. Kilchis Point was also the headquarters of the Whitney Lumber Company from 1919-1927.”

Today there are several miles of trails running through the reserve with plans for more over time. Interpretive signs highlight flora and fauna, Native American heritage and local pioneer settlement. Look for sculptures and other work by local artists along the way as well.

Museum staff note that, “The Ford Family Foundation designed, funded and helped install the Kilchis Point trailhead area complete with benches and a native garden. A paved parking area, bioswale, and an interpretive kiosk have also been completed with funding from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund. Permeable pavers have been used for the parking area and the Trailhead Loop which is approximately one-third of a mile.”

Learn more about Kilchis Point Reserve, and how you can help restore native plants and/or contribute financially here.

The Kilchis Point Trailhead is located on the west side of U.S. Highway 101 at 9000 Spruce Street on the corner of Spruce and Warren streets in Bay City.

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