Friends of the Yamhelas Westsider Trail
The Friends of the Yamhelas Westsider Trail is an Oregon non-profit organization that advocates for the development and operation of multi-use trails that support the health, safety and connectivity of our community.
The centerpiece of our efforts, the Yamhelas Westsider Trail, will convert the publicly-owned historic Westsider rail line into a 17-mile multi-use recreational trail, connecting the Yamhill County communities of Carlton, Yamhill, Cove Orchard and Gaston. The long-term vision is to extend the trail to McMinnville to the south and Forest Grove to the north, connecting with a vast network of trails and greenspaces throughout Northwest Oregon.
The proposed route for the trail has a rich history as a transportation corridor. Yamhelas comes from the name of the Native Americans who lived in this area. Westsider was the nickname of the rail line when it was constructed in the 1870's along the west side of the Willamette Valley. The route carried both freight and passengers, including the famed Red Electric interurban, supporting the commerce and connectivity of Yamhill County residents. Yamhelas Westsider Trail was chosen to reflect the heritage and embody the new use for this historic corridor.
The Friends of the Yamhelas Westsider Trail appreciate your support to make this dream a reality.
Let's Make It Happen!
Our Communities Benefit From Our Trails
The Yamhelas Westsider Trail will:
Connect Yamhill County communities to each other and to natural spaces.
Protect neighboring properties with fencing, gates, signage and other trail management techniques.
Improve public health by providing opportunities for outdoor recreation
Create a safe and convenient transportation and recreation choice for walking, running, horseback riding and cycling.
Create a safe route to school for students who must travel between Yamhill and Carlton to get to school.
Boost our local economy by attracting visitors who will spend money on food, lodging and shopping.
Convert a tract of unused public property into a major recreational asset for the County.
The Yamhelas Westsider Trail will connect the communities of Gaston, Cove Orchard, Yamhill and Carlton, with scenic views of farmland, the coast range and Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Take an aerial trip down the right-of-way in the above video!