Olympic Discovery Trail West Central - Lake and Foothills Section

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) encompasses about 126 miles between the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The trail travels east—west the width of the Olympic Peninsula between Port Angeles and the Pacific Ocean at La Push, home to the Quileute Native Peoples. As of autumn 2011, roughly 40 miles of the paved ODT are complete.

The Olympic Discovery Trail is a continuation of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. The ODT also forms a significant portion of several larger trails, including Senator Patty Murray's proposed Olympic Peninsula Loop Trail and the Seattle-Vancouver-Victoria-Port Angeles to Seattle Loop.

Part of the ODT will follow the corridor of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. The trail passes along tribal lands and incorporates historical sites of interest, as well as providing scenic views of the mountains and the sea.

The eastern part of the Olympic Discovery Trail West Central - Lake and Foothills Section includes what is locally know as the Port Angeles Waterfront Trail. It continues from the Olympic Discovery Trail East Central – River and Prairie Section, from the site of the old Rayonier Mill to the Port Angeles Coast Guard Air Station on Ediz Hook.

The Lake and Foothills Section, when complete, will run for 31.7 miles from Port Angeles to the Olympic Highway/US 101 west of Lake Crescent. As of autumn 2011, disjointed segments of the trail run through Port Angeles west to a short segment just west of the airport. From here the on-road portion Piedmont Road/Rt. 112 to Joyce Piedmont Road to Lake Crescent. To date 10.3 miles of the paved trail are complete in this section; another 5.4 are expected to be complete in 2012.

At Lake Crescent the trail picks up again and is known locally as the Spruce Railroad Trail (Lake Crescent Trail). The trail follows the lakes north shore along 8 miles of a former railroad bed and includes two tunnels.

From Lake Crescent west, the trail continues as the Olympic Discovery Trail West - Forest and Ocean Section but it is largely incomplete except for a 1.5-mile segment in La Push on the Pacific coast.

Parking and Trail Access

There are 4 access points along this section of ODT:

Port Angeles City Pier at Lincoln St at W. Front St; parking, restrooms, water, tourist info center, shopping and restaurants, transportation center

Elwha River at end of Crown Z Water Rd under the bridge; parking only

East Beach trailhead near end of E. Beach Rd in Olympic National Park; parking, restrooms, water

On Hwy 101 opposite Sol Duc Rd; limited parking

In addition there are 3 planned access areas: 10th St at Milwaukee Dr, 18th St., and Lower Elwha Road.


Port Angeles to end of Lake Crescent

   August, 2012 by guentherclan

My wife and I have really been interested in the rail trails, even the unpaved ones and we were really excited to read that this section of the ODT was rideable. Well, it's not all rideable, at least not by a trike, and probably not by a road bike either. ...read more

Olympic Discovery Trail between Elwha River and suburbs of the town of Port Angeles

   June, 2012 by eckart

An important message to TrailLink Webmaster (please remove this before posting this trip report): Please do not intersperse my photos among the existing ones. Post them together and in the correct sequence in which they are numbered. Although the ...read more

Port Angeles Waterfront Trail

   July, 2009 by smacklow

"The trail is part of the Olympic Discovery Trail, and as of July, 2009, the Waterfront Trail extends under that name from the Coast Guard Station near the tip of Ediz Hook, to the bridge over Ennis Creek. It describes a long, flattened, open end loop ...read more