There is a place in the big meadow on the north end of the Tie Hack Trail where you can just barely see one of the log walls of a cabin. And to be honest, it’s hard to be certain that it is a log wall until you start making your way toward it.
When you get close you’ll realize this is not just a cabin but an old Tie Hack Camp. This is a great site and I counted the remains of seven separate buildings. While none of them have anything left that resembles a roof most have significant portions of the walls remaining.
I got a kick out of noticing what view each window presented and where the doors led. Some opened to what seemed like the main route between the cabins and others opened to the door of the next cabin over.
This camp and the rest of the Tie Hack Trail is a great place to gain a deeper understanding of the railroad tie cutting process. In particular how the Tie Hack’s lived and how the ties were transported.
Its easy to look at a shallow, narrow creek in late summer and question if tie hacks really floated their ties downstream to get them out of the mountains. But if you decide to make your way down the the trail along North French Creek you can see places where the creek has gouged out the old bank and where it has washed out some foot bridges.
Seeing a bridge knocked around with dead trees piled up against it drives home just how much force these creeks can generate with the spring snowmelt.
If you are interested in exploring this old tie camp the easiest way is from Wyoming Highway 130. Turn off on either Forest Road 227 (21 miles west of Centennial) or Forest Road 225 (1 mile east of Ryan Park). The trailhead is 0.3 miles west of where Forest Road 225 and 227 intersect.. Be sure to start from the North Trailhead and please leave everything where you found it.
If you are looking for a guide to get you to the French Creek Tie Camp: