Kilchis Point Reserve is a pristine 200 acre natural area located along Tillamook Bay in Bay City, Oregon. The Tillamook County Pioneer Museum (TCPM) owns, protects, maintains, and holds this land in the public trust. The history at Kilchis Point is long, rich and well documented. There are three sections of interpretive trails that will highlight Flora and Fauna, Native American Heritage, and Pioneer Settlement.
An interpretive kiosk, benches, arbor, and native garden are installed at the Trailhead. We encourage everyone to stop by and check it out! The parking area and trailhead are located at the corner of Warren and Spruce Streets in Bay City, Oregon. The first section of trail, the Trailhead Loop, is paved with pavers and has interpretive trail signs that highlight the Native American presence in the area, the first settlers in the Tillamook area, and common flora and fauna one will see along the trails.
The trails are approximately 2 miles. A trail map can be found in the kiosk at the main parking area or printed below. All are welcome but we recommend wearing sturdy shoes since there are some small obstacles such as uneven ground, roots, and puddles. During the summer Doty Creek can be crossed to reach the south end of the property but during the winter when the water levels are higher, we do not recommend crossing.
The biodiversity evident at Kilchis Point in the wetland and woodland areas provide the opportunity for visitors to observe and enjoy the natural wonder possible with stewardship. This special place is home to a wide variety of plants and animals that together form precious ecosystems.
Declared a County Heritage Area by the Tillamook County Commissioners in 2010, Kilchis Point is an important prehistoric and historic site. Kilchis Point is the site of one of the largest Native American village sites on the Northern Oregon Coast. Tillamook County’s first pioneer settler, Joe Champion arrived at Kilchis Point in 1851 and lived in a Spruce stump next to the Native American village while he built a cabin. The Morning Star of Tillamook, was built at Kilchis Point making it the first ship built in Tillamook County and the first ship registered in the Oregon Territory. Kilchis Point was also the site of Tillamook County’s first post office and the headquarters of the Whitney Lumber Company.
This rich history will be revealed through a series of three interpretive trails that highlight (1) Flora and Fauna, (2) Native American Heritage, and (3) Pioneer Settlement.
Traveling North on Highway 101 from Tillamook towards Bay City: As you just being to enter Bay City limits, turn LEFT on Warren Street (Across from Habitat for Humanity Restore). Turn LEFT on Spruce Street. You will be able to see the trailhead parking lot.
Traveling South on Highway 101 from Bay City towards Tillamook: Turn RIGHT on Warren Street (Across from Habitat for Humanity Restore). Turn LEFT on Spruce Street. You will be able to see the trailhead parking lot.
A sincere THANK YOU to the following supporters:
Sprit Mountain Community Fund – Interpretive kiosk and parking area grant
Ford Family Foundation – Native garden, benches, and arbor grant
Oregon Cultural Trust – Cultural Assessment grant
Oregon Community Foundation – Environmental Education grant
City of Tillamook – Advertising
Oregon Humanities – Tom Doty speaker
Tillamook County Pioneer Association – Pioneer Settlement trail signs
Tillamook County Historical Society – Design, making, and hanging the Kilchis Point quilt square
North Coast Lawn – labor and materials for parking area and trail development
Don Averill – labor and materials for parking area and road installation
City of Bay City
Bay City Arts Center
Tillamook Estuary Partnership
American Association of University Women – Native tree plantings