The Powerline #4B trail immediately plunges into a dense second growth forest thick with maples and fir trees dripping with moss and ferns. Depending on how recently the last rains passed through the Tillamook State Forest, visitors may be quite literally greeted with dripping moss and branches hanging low over the trail. A tight switchback points the trail southward toward the high tension power lines. After emerging from the dark and wet forest, the trail turns into a gravel access road that follows under the power lines on their march westward to bring electricity to the communities of the northern Oregon Coast. At the top of the ridge, 4x4ers are greeted with big views to the west across the patchwork of second and third growth timber, and clear cuts. Nine days out of ten, the distant ridges and mountains are veiled in clouds, rain, and mist, but on rare sunny blue sky days, the entire Devil's Lake Branch of the Wilson River Basin is on full display.
7 day forecast for Powerline #4B / Tillamook State Forest
The Powerline #4B trail starts on the northwest side of University Falls Road about 500 feet south of the quarry area. Depending on how recently the trail was maintained, the entrance can be chewed up and may require skill to navigate or the entrance may be well-graveled and easy to drive over.
This trail is accessed from waypoint 2 of the Powerline #4A trail. At the end of Powerline #4A, proceed to the left along Beaver Dam Road. In 300 feet, continue straight to switch over to University Falls Road. A large quarry where people often go shooting is to the left. Head past the quarry and up the hill. Powerline #4B starts on the right side of the gravel road about 500 feet beyond the quarry.
Powerline Trail (all sections) is Open and in great shape. There are some narrow spots that could prove challenging for vehicles wider/longer than a Jeep Wrangler, but certainly nothing too crazy. I find this is a perfect trail for "newbies" or someone getting used to wheeling a new vehicle.
The Tillamook State Forest is now in the "regulated use" portion of fire season. Please check fire danger before you go to the Tillamook State Forest and plan accordingly including minimum equipment you are required to carry while in the forest.
TSF general information: http://tillamookstateforest.blogspot.com/p/fire-season.html
More information and links to current fire danger: https://www.oregon.gov/odf/fire/pages/restrictions.aspx
Trails in the Tillamook State Forest are open again after a brief closure due to fire weather. Please be safe out in the forest, carry appropriate fire extinguishing equipment, and don't have open flames. More details are at: http://tillamookstateforest.blogspot.com/2019/08/ohv-trails-open.html
The Tillamook State Forest is under fire restrictions and all OHV trails are temporarily closed. More information is available at: http://tillamookstateforest.blogspot.com/2019/08/high-fire-danger-level-ohv-trails-closed.html
First off, I want to preface my review with the fact that I haven't done any wheelin' in a good 25 years.
I went in with an 18 Ram 2500 short bed with a Cummins. I chose the trail specifically because of the description here. Today was very dry- a couple of damp spots but not a bit of mud on the truck. It was overall an easy trail to negotiate, but there are a few really tight turns that took some effort to get through. The toughest for me was one at about the halfway point, about 100 degrees up to the left with a gnarly root on the inside corner. Took several tries to get lined up and through it. Other than that, nice and slow and didn't even scratch any paint-but only by a matter of an inch or two. If you have a shorter wheelbase truck and/or narrower track, consider it ezmode. I might even, after running it a handful of times.
I thought it was a great choice for me to get back in the woods and on the trails. Much adrenaline was consumed making sure I didn't come home with battle scars. Thank you to whomever maintains it.
Douglas grew up riding in the back of pickups in Oregon and California. He comes from a long line of overlanders and adventurers dating back to the Mayflower and the Oregon Trail. During a stint working in Colorado, Douglas fell in love with the offroad scene and immediately gravitated toward the Toyota crowd. His first 4x4 was a 1988 Toyota 4runner nicknamed Goldilocks. After a year of running many of the iconic trails throughout the front range in the fully stock Goldilocks running on bald tires, it was time for an upgrade. Goldilocks went off to a new home and the Albino Rhino came home. The Albino Rhino is a built 1986 Toyota 4runner ready for any adventure anywhere at any time.
During the week, Douglas works on systems engineering and architecture problems in California. Douglas also enjoys backpacking -- especially in the central Sierras in California -- scuba diving along the Oregon and California coasts, and riding his motorcycle on the Pacific Coast Highway. Most weeknights you can find Douglas under his truck in the driveway performing maintenance or fixing the latest trail damage.