Klamath County, Ore. – The OC&E trail in Klamath Falls has a history going back 100 years.
In this week’s Tank of Gas Getaway NBC5’S Scott Gee shows us how it made the transition from rail to trail.
The OC&E Woods Line State Trail starts in Klamath Falls and heads east to Bly and north to the Sycan Marsh.
Along the way, you’ll cross 100-year-old railroad trestles, watch deer and antelope leap across the trail in front of you. and you might even see a raptor.
“OC&E stands for ‘Oregon, California and Eastern,’” explained Park Manager Todd Honeywell. “So, when the railroad was originally made they were trying to connect Oregon, California and the eastern side of Oregon.”
That was the idea anyway.
Ranger Honeywell said, “Construction began in 1917 to haul timber. But by 1929, the railway ended in Bly. In 1990, the state began ripping up the rails. ‘Rail to trail’ as they say.”
Park Specialist Lisa Dykstra said, “What makes this park different from all the others in the state is we are the longest linear park in the State of Oregon.”
It’s 109 miles long, and used by over 37,000 outdoor enthusiasts a year.
“Now it’s open for anybody to use,” Ranger Honeywell said. “Any non-motorized use, hiking, biking, horseback riding.”
The trail is open year round. In the winter, they’ll plow the snow near Klamath Falls, but leave most of the trail untouched for the cross country skiers and snow shoers.
Ranger Brandon Peura said, “You’re going to see a variety of wildlife from deer, prong horned antelope. Depending upon the season you’ll find a lot of migratory bird species coming through. Many different raptors.”
There are great organized activities along the trail, like walks at noon.
Dykstra said, “We have a variety of people who come and join us.
friends are made and fun is had.
If you don’t feel like of walking, Dykstra said, “We have bike rentals out of the caboose behind me. If you’re interested in learning more about the OC&E trail please call our office at 541-883-5558.”