Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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This spring/summer I'd love to hike around as much of the NWP tracks and tunnels as I safely can.  I hope to cross the Russian River and explore the tracks and tunnels along side 101 just north of Cloverdale, Eel River and Dios Rio areas just to name a few areas.  I'm open to hearing other great sites to check out too.

Any tips or advice?  It would just be me and I am not an expert hiker but in good health/shape.  I am thinking of making it a weekend excursion so I have ample time.

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It is beautiful in all areas.  The further north you get you have to be careful of the dope growers.  Especially in the Eel River area.  People have been shot at and in some cases disappeared.  I do not recommend going that far north by your self.  You should definitely go with someone who knows the area so you can keep out of the bad spots.

Yeah the eel river canyon is iffy a best... I have explored the canyon while I was working there, doing civil engineering assessments, and have ran into nice people, and ran into some bad people. I had to fend one guy off with my hard hat. I don't go into the canyon alone anymore and I stay away from the areas of Island mountain and alderpoint, and any areas in-between. Many people go out to Dos Rios, because there is public road access, and I have to say Dos Rios is pretty safe as long as you stay in the yard. Willits south is your best bet to explore safely, but bring people with you and lots of water.  Island mountain is accessed thru private roads that the railroad and other contractors can use to see the row. When I had to access the island mountain area, I had to push my truck to the limits to keep from getting stuck... there is another road that is better, but I could not get that gate open.

Hello Kelly,

Some good friends hiked most or all of the right-of-way between Hopland and Cloverdale and shared some pictures with me, which I added to the following album:

http://nwprr.net/photo/albums/neglected-row

And here's a nice boat's-eye view of the Eel River Canyon, which I would like to hike through someday (though, as John suggests, perhaps not something to do alone):

http://nwprr.net/video/hard-times-on-the-railroad-eel-1

There are a number of additional videos and photo albums showing the Eel River Canyon on this network -- let me know if you need help digging those up, and please keep us updated on your adventures!  Regards,

Mark D.

Thanks Gentlemen.  I'm certainly not going to go somewhere that puts my life at risk so I'll stay closer to Dios Rios and public access areas.

Mark, were you able to explore the Hopland to Cloverdale area fairly easily?  It's an area that's on my bucket list (so to speak).

Hey Kelly,

Sounds like fun.

Not to deter you, but there is a good deal of marijuana growing/harvesting in the Eel River Canyon.  I don't stray too far from my vehicle, and I take my cop buddy just for good measure.  :)

Fort Seward station is still reachable by auto.  The Island Mountain Bridge is gated off, but the owner will allow access with previous permission.  Most of the tunnels are covered in bat guano.

Maybe start with a day trip and see how it goes.

Good luck!

Mitch

Thanks for the advice, Mitch.  I was prepared for that feedback, truly not surprised.

I'm hoping to hike from Cloverdale to Hopland Memorial weekend as a trial run, see how I feel and how well my clothing protects.  Then figuring out and researching more on the Eel River tunnels and bridges.

Any tips on getting a hold of the owner of Island Mountain or its access?

Kelly, I wouldn't walk any of the track from Dos Rios to the forks. Too dangerous to risk it. Stick to the Russian River Canyon.

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