Fort Clatsop
Lewis and Clark Trail from Fort Clatsop to the Clatsop Plains
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The legislation authorizing the establishment of Fort Clatsop National Memorial, and the memoranda authorizing the present historical study, refer to the Lewis and Clark trail which "led from Fort Clatsop to the coast." In the preliminary stages of the present investigation, however, it was quickly found that there would be little point in making a detailed study of the trail beyond the point where it crossed the main course of the present Skipanon River for the following reasons:

1. Beyond the Skipanon, and from there to the coastline, the trail entered the region known to early settlers as the Clatsop Plains, a country of swamps, open fields, sluggish streams, and sand ridges. The topography of this region does not permit the exact pinpointing of the trail location.

2. The general appearance of the region beyond the Skipanon has been so altered from its appearance of 1806 by artificially induced changes in the drainage pattern, by agricultural and residential development, and by highway and railroad construction that there appears little hope that the scene of 1806 could be reconstructed. 3. The high state of development of much of the land along the general route of the trail west of the Skipanon would make land acquisition so difficult and expensive that its addition to the Memorial would be prohibitive, particularly, in view of the very doubtful value of such lands for furthering the purposes of the Memorial.

Therefore, the present study is largely confined to that section of the trail from the Fort Clatsop site westward to the Clatsop Plains.

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Last Updated: 04-May-2004