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Exploring Boneyard Ridge

Where is Boneyard Ridge?

Boneyard Ridge is the land you see when you gaze south at Tillamook Head from Seaside or west from US 101 along the Necanicum River. Standing on Boneyard Ridge, you can see Seaside and the coastline to the north as well as NCLC’s own Circle Creek Conservation Center to the east. The forest here has been commercially logged for decades and currently ranges from recovering young stands to trees a half-century old. NCLC’s challenge going forward is to utilize the latest findings in restoration science to put this 340-acre property on a healthy trajectory toward maturing into a high-functioning rainforest. Read about our Boneyard Ridge restoration efforts.

  • BONEYARD RIDGE IS ACCESSIBLE ON FOOT via a gated gravel road through Nuveen Natural Capital property. You will need a permit from Nuveen Natural Capital (free, available online) to walk this road. Dogs are not allowed on NCLC properties. There are no restrooms. Bow hunting for deer and elk is allowed in the fall (check ODFW for dates).
  • ACCESS: Park at Circle Creek Conservation Center, then walk south on Rippet Road 0.4 mile. Where Rippet Road turns east, take the gravel road heading up the hill to the west (Tillamook Head Mainline). From here it’s about 1.2 miles to the property boundary and another 1.3 miles to its high point, where you get a view of Seaside and the coastline stretching north.
  • DOWNLOAD A MAP of Boneyard Ridge.

More on Boneyard Ridge

Boneyard Ridge is a shining example of how private land conservation enhances habitat connectivity across the landscape. It lies between and adjacent to Elmer Feldenheimer State Natural Area and Ecola State Park (globally significant for its biodiversity, located along the ocean shoreline) and NCLC’s own Circle Creek Habitat Reserve (an active restoration site, occupying the Necanicum River floodplain). Altogether the four properties create a contiguous 3,500-acre conservation corridor on Tillamook Head, the northern Oregon Coast’s most iconic headland.

The property includes four streams, including 2 miles of salmon-bearing streams, which support not only spawning coho salmon but cutthroat trout and Western brook lamprey. It serves as a home or migration stopover to at least 90 species of birds, including pileated woodpeckers, olive-sided flycatchers, bald eagles, and rufous hummingbirds. Amphibians on the property include red-legged frogs and Columbia torrent salamanders, and mammals here range from black bears to elk. Even more native wildlife species are known to inhabit Ecola State Park and may already have spread into Boneyard Ridge.

Funding for the purchase of Boneyard Ridge came from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Gordy Allen and Jan Stewart, Gaylord–Eyerman Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Mintkeski Family Fund, Nancie McGraw, Judy Sorrel, and more than 120 additional donors.


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