The interpretive trail provides access to the Wheeler Ridge, 1942 Japanese Aerial Bombing Site, which was the first bombardment by enemy aircraft of the United States and is one of only two such aerial incidents ever to occur on mainland America soil. Two incendiary bombs were dropped in the hopes of starting a wildfire. However, due to damp weather at that time, the fire did not do very much damage. A small deck provides a view of the bomb site, which today shows little evidence of it's history. There are no camps or water along the way. You will find some redwood trees at the start of the trail, which are within the Wheeler Creek Research Natural Area.
A State Historical Marker is located at the north end of the Chetco Wild and Scenic River Bridge just off Highway 101 (junction of Highway 101 and Northbank Chetco Wild and Scenic River Road), next to the Botanical Garden. The marker was erected in 1994 to commemorate the unique story behind the bomb site. A display and additional information about this event can be found at the Chetco Community Public Library located at 405 Alder in Brookings, Oregon.
There is a new interpretive display at the trailhead along the trail and near viewing deck at the end of the trail. There is limited parking – park near the intersection of Forest Roads 1205 and 260 and walk to the beginning of the trail on the south side of Forest Road 1205 (about 200 feet from the intersection).
At a Glance
||Not available. Surface water should be treated.
Gold Beach Ranger District
From Brookings, Oregon, travel south on Highway 101 across the bridge over the Chetco River. Take the first immediate right turn at the end of the bridge onto the South Bank Chetco River Road (County Road 808). Stay on the south Bank road which travels through residental areas until a junction wich leads uphill on the right to Forest Road 1205 (Note: There are a few private driveways before reaching the Forest Boundary). You will stay on the main Forest Road 1205 all the way to the trailhead. At the junction with Forest Road 1983 you stay to the right and at the junction with Forest Road 1106 you stay to the left. The trailhead is located at the junction of the Forest Road 1205 and Forest Road 260.
The trail is located 19 miles east of Brookings, Oregon.
USGS Map: Fourth of July Creek