Working off breakfast at Kilchis Point Reserve

We seldom stray far from home for breakfast, but we had heard that Wanda’s Cafe in Nehalem had changed hands and wanted to check it out. It’s a 90-minute drive from home, so with a single espresso in our bellies, we were ready to eat on arrival. The new owner is present and very nice, the decor updated, and the food as good as always. Not only did we each clean our plates, but we also bought a marionberry oat bar to have with afternoon coffee!

Wide, level trails make for easy going. Two miles pass very easily.

Luckily we had an hour-long walk ahead of us at Kilchis Point Reserve which is just north of Tillamook near Bay City. This is a historically and ecologically significant place. It was the site of one of the largest permanent Native American villages on the west coast and the first ship ever built in Tillamook County, The Tillamook Star, was built at Kilchis Point. Chief Kilchis, for whom the reserve is named, was the tribal leader when the first settler in Tillamook County, Joe Champion arrived. Joe lived in a large, hollowed out tree stump (the chief’s idea) while he built his cabin. Others followed and one of the trails memorializes their pioneering.

The sweep of history includes the headquarters of a lumber company in the early 20th Century, but the far-sighted folks of  Tillamook County declared it a heritage site in 2010 and the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum now owns, protects, maintains, and holds this land in the public trust. The reserve is also home to several ecosystems.

This is an easy walk. Part of the trail is paved and the rest is compacted gravel with several wide, even wooden boardwalks. Small children and parents with strollers will find the roughly 2.2-mile roundtrip easy and it would be a cool spot on a warm day as much of the site is wooded. The maps and way-finding are clear so there is no chance of getting lost as you follow the three interpretive trails, Flora & Fauna, Native American Heritage, and Early Pioneer Settlement. There are myriad interpretive signs along the way to enhance your understanding.

It was not exactly a workout, but at least we made a dent in those breakfast calories…

Herewith, some photos from our 60-minute visit. Click on any picture for a slide show.

This is the last blog I will be posting on Project Easy Hiker. I will continue to include our hikes both at home and abroad over at Girovaga. Please consider following me there if you do already do so. This site will stay active in support of our book, “Walking in Italy’s Val Gardena” and a new e-book on hiking in Switzerland’s Jungfrau Region that we plan to publish this winter 


About Laurel

Writer of three blogs:,, and
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2 Responses to Working off breakfast at Kilchis Point Reserve

  1. Lori J Veloski says:

    Thank you Laurel. I always enjoy your blogs. I made notes of this one as we’re headed to that area the end of July. I already get your Girovaga blogs.


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