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With the weatherman’s promise of sunshine, I drove to the Soapstone Lake Trailhead in the Clatsop State Forest in early autumn. It is a relatively easy hike – – – three miles roundtrip with 475 feet of elevation gain.
The area lies on the west side of the Coastal Mountains about 13 miles from Seaside. It’s a fairly new trail in good shape with four footbridges.
The area is classic rain forest habitat. There were many stumps, some 10-12 feet across, from logging in the early 1900’s. It always brings the Stamper family to mind.
There were many fresh elk tracks along the upper trail. But, as the old cowboy always reminded me: Track soup makes for mighty thin gruel.
On the way back I marveled at grit and capabilities of the early 20th century loggers. In the hostile environment of the Coastal Mountains, their job was extremely difficult and dangerous. Amazing!