Looking Back: Connecting Coastal Towns
Published: 09/21/2011  Updated: 06/21/2019
This plank road meandered through a tall forest stretching from Ilwaco, Washington Territory to the North Head Light Station.
This plank road meandered through a tall forest stretching from Ilwaco, Washington Territory to the North Head Light Station.  Courtesy of Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco

In the late 1800s, before Washington officially became a state, getting around on what we now know as the Long Beach Peninsula was a challenge. Heavily treed forests and few, if any, overland roads severely limited travel to and amongst coastal towns. Vacationing Portland residents often traveled by steamship north to the Washington coast due to a lack of roads and railways to Oregon beaches. Plank pathways were often constructed in coastal areas, sometimes using salvaged wood from shipwrecks. Pictured here in an historic photo circa 1880s from the archives of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco, is a plank road that meandered through a tall forest stretching from Ilwaco, Washington Territory to the North Head Light Station. To explore more of the rich history of the Long Beach Peninsula area, visit the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum at 115 Lake Street in Ilwaco, (360) 642-3446.
Looking Back: Connecting Coastal Towns