Unfit Settlement View

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Coastal Mountains’ Hike

It was an overcast, foggy day in early February. I decided to take a drive to the Coastal Mountains to try a new hike, at least new for me.

L.L. “Stub” Stewart Memorial State Park was my destination. It is situated next to the Banks-Vernonia Rail Trail.


The original railway line was built in the 1920s to move logs and lumber from a company mill in Vernonia as well as freight and passengers to Portland. The railroad line was abandoned in 1973. One year later Oregon bought the right-of-way. In 2007 the State Park opened adjacent to a segment of the rail-trail.

I drove to the upper parking area, used primarily by equestrians. However, this day I was the only person there.

My hiking destination was Unfit Settlement View, a little more than a mile uphill from the trailhead. I read once that the name “Unfit Settlement” refers to a 19th century surveyor’s assessment of the poor homesteading potential in the area.

Upon reaching the viewpoint, the highest point in the park (1,528 feet), I was disappointed to see that trees had grown high enough to obscure most of the views. If there hadn’t been the fog though, I probably would have had some views of the Coast Range foothills to the north and west.

Still, it made for a nice outing in the middle of winter.

Maple Leaf and reflections in a raindrop

One of many crossings along the trail

Unfit Settlement Viewpoint

Views along the trail

Mine is the only vehicle in a huge parking/staging area


Categories: Oregon Coastal Mountain HikingTags:

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