Family riding a pedal cart across the historic 1901 truss bridge in Tillamook, OR

Pedal the Oregon Coast Rails with the Rail Riders

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If you are heading to Tillamook for just a day or plan to stay a few days, you do not want to miss the opportunity to ride the rails.

My family and I did this fun activity on a day trip from Portland in 2018 and had such a great time. I highly recommend it to anyone traveling to or through the area, or even making a special trip just to ride the rails.

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Oregon Coast Railriders is now called Tillamook Rail Riders

I originally shared this excursion when my family tried it in 2018. The photos and video included here are my own. There weren’t any restrictions about taking photos or video when we traveled that I was told about.
It looks like the business has changed hands and is now operated by Twins Ranch Rail Riders at so I have updated this with information available on their website. You should also visit the Tillamook Rail Riders/Twins Ranch Rail Riders website for up to date information and to make reservations.

Where is the Tillamook Rail Riders starting point?

There are two locations now to ride the rails on the Oregon coast.

Bay City Tour

The Tillamook/Twins Ranch Rail Riders tour starts in Bay City, Oregon, about half way between the Tillamook Creamery and Garibaldi on the Tillamook bay.
Look for the hill of oyster shells and turn in at Hayes Oyster Drive.

Wheeler Tour

The Wheeler Tour begins in the city of Wheeler which is on the Nehalem River just south of Manzanita.

Yellow ticket building for the Oregon Coast Railriders
Rail Riders Building in Bay City, Oregon Photo taken 2018

Who can pedal the rails?

This excursion is great for couples, families, and groups.

The whole group of carts travel together for a nice, level ride through the Tillamook County countryside. At the end of the line, guests get off the carts while the guides turn them around to return to the beginning.

The trip covers about 12.6 miles round trip from Bay City, OR (at the north part of Tillamook Bay) south just over the Highway 6 overpass. The trip takes about two hours.

The carts seat four people and have height and weight restrictions. Please see their website or call them directly for information.

What happens on a Railriders trip?

After securely fastening your seat belt and listening to safety instructions, your group begins pedaling. You propel your recumbent style cart on the train tracks along the beautiful countryside.

Four seater recumbent pedal cart Oregon Coast Railriders
These carts are from the Oregon Coast Railriders and may be different for the current excursions

You are likely to see wild animals, waterways, beautiful scenery, and a view of the area that you can’t usually see from the roads.

Once the caravan of carts arrives at the end point, everyone dismounts their carts and while we took a quick break and stretched our legs, the guides turned the carts around.

Watch this video of an Oregon Coast Railriders excursion from Bay City, OR to Tillamook.

This video was recorded in early June 2018, it was an overcast day that started a little chilly but once we got going the weather made for a nice trip.

Oregon Coast Railriders has changed ownership, some of the information in the video may have changed but gives an overall example of what to expect.

On our trip we saw cows, birds (including a Great Blue Heron), meadows, and crossed two 100+ year old truss bridges.
We traveled under, across, and parallel to the highway and even got to have the Rail Road crossing guard gates put down for us.

Oregon Coast Railriders cart at a railroad crossing sign

When can I take a Rail Riders trip?

Tillamook Rail Riders usually run during the summer season and into early fall, rain or shine.
Check their website and click the Book Now Button to see available dates and book your reservation.

Riders passing over a waterway on an Oregon Coast Railriders trip

Where to pedal the rails in the Northwest

There are now six Rail Rider Cycling excursions available in Oregon and Washington

These excursions offer a variety of distances and fitness levels. Depending on location, carts seat 2-4 people, some even have a power assist option.

  1. Bay City, OR – 2 hour, 12 mile round trip traveling from Bay City to Tillamook, OR by Tillamook Rail Riders.
  2. Wheeler, OR – 2 hour round trip departing from Wheeler, OR by Tillamook Rail Riders.
  3. Joseph, OR – 2 hour, 12 mile round trip traveling from Joseph to Enterprise, OR by Joseph Branch Railriders.
  4. Minam, OR – 4 hour, 20 mile round trip from Minam to Rondowa, OR by Joseph Branch Railriders.
  5. Minam, OR – 4 hour, 20 mile round trip from Minam, OR to Wallowa River by Joseph Branch Railriders.
  6. Shelton, WA – 2 hour, 13 mile round trip from Camp 1 to Shelton, WA by Vance Creek Railriders.

The Oregon Coast Railriders, now operated by Twins Ranch Rail Riders was actually the second location of Railriders. The Joseph Branch Railriders in Eastern Oregon began in 2014.
Two years later, in May of 2016 the Oregon Coast Railriders began operations.
In 2018, Vance Creek Railriders began operating in Shelton Washington.

Pedal all the rails!

View of the Tillamook bay from an Oregon Coast Railriders cart

Tips for Railriders:

  1. Reserve your tickets online in advance. Some excursions request booking at lest 36 hours in advance.
  2. Save time by printing and filling our your waiver before you arrive.
  3. During Covid, please check the website for current social distancing and safety guidelines.
  4. Check the weather before heading out. Dress appropriately for the weather in comfortable riding clothing.
  5. Arrive 30 minutes early. You need to check in, get your safety vest, and assigned a cart before departure. Especially arrive 30 minutes early if you have a child’s car seat that needs to be secured to the cart (necessary for children whose feet don’t reach the pedals). Your reservation can be sold to someone else if you are late. **Late means less than 15 minutes before departure time.**
  6. Review cancellation policy before booking just in case your plans change.
  7. Wear sunscreen. You will be in the sun for 2-4 hours depending on the excursion you are taking.
  8. Bring a water bottle. The carts have a cup holder for regular size water bottles.
  9. Bring a camera and/or binoculars but dont’ bring things you don’t need.
  10. Animals are not allowed to travel on the carts.
  11. Plan for rest stops. There are portable toilets at the beginning and the guides can let you know where other pit stops are available.
  12. Be prepared to pedal the whole distance. It isn’t hard but it requires consistent pedaling.
  13. Long excursions allow for a lunch break so pack a lunch or snack.
  14. Try all of the Railriders excursions.
  15. Enjoy fresh air and the sights and sounds of nature.
  16. If you have your heart set on riding the rails but don’t have a reservation, you can go to the ticketing booth and ask if you can stand-by to see if someone doesn’t show up for their reservation.

Have you heard of or been on a Railrider Cycling adventure? What did you think?

Happy travels,


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