Olympic Discovery Trail - Blyn to Elwha River

Washington

Olympic Discovery Trail - Blyn to Elwha River Facts

States: Washington
Counties: Clallam
Length: 34.7 miles
Trail end points: Jamestown S'Klallam Reservation at Old Blyn Hwy. (Blyn) and Elwha River Rd. at the Elwha River (Port Angeles)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6401666
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Horseback Riding, Walking

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Olympic Discovery Trail - Blyn to Elwha River Description

The 35 miles of Olympic Discovery Trail sandwiched between Sequim Bay and the Elwha River are considered the trail system's crown jewel. Bounded by a sparkling tidal estuary in the east and a recently undammed river in the west, the rail-trail visits the towns of Sequim and Port Angeles as it crosses the base of the Olympic Mountains. The route is divided into three segments here: Blyn to Sequim, Sequim to Port Angeles, and Port Angeles to the Elwha River.

The route follows the corridor of the Seattle, Port Angeles & Western Railway, constructed between Port Angeles and Discovery Bay from 1914 to 1915. The railway linked with the Port Townsend & Southern Railroad but didn't connect to a main line. The railroad solved the problem by using barges to transport railroad cars across Puget Sound. The railway had the distinction of being the only one in the nation whose schedule was determined by the tides. By 1931, the railroad had discontinued passenger service, and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad had acquired the line to haul freight and timber. The Seattle & North Coast Railroad bought the railway in 1981 and reinstituted passenger service between Port Angeles and Port Townsend. It didn't take hold, however, and crews began removing track in 1985. Soon after, the Peninsula Trails Coalition formed to build a trail.

Blyn to Sequim: 7.5 miles
This piece of the Olympic Discovery Trail starts at the Jamestown S'Klallam Reservation in Blyn and skirts Sequim Bay through a forested state park, ending in the town of Sequim (pronounced "skwim").

The rail-trail actually starts in the woods, about 0.6 mile east of the tribal headquarters, but there's no parking. Plans call for extending the trail 2.5 miles east to a new trailhead and parking lot. The tribe's small reservation includes the facilities you can see from the Blyn trailhead at the library, as well as the 7 Cedars Casino across US 101. As you follow the trail west and join Old Blyn Highway, it's not uncommon to see people digging for clams in Sequim Bay at low tide. The trail reappears on the left in 0.25 mile, crosses a couple of bridges over Jimmycomelately Creek, and begins climbing in the woods bordering the bay.

The path joins Dawley Road and crosses the Schoolhouse Point Lane intersection at mile 2.1. Just beyond, the trail turns right into the Camp Ramblewood Environmental Learning Center. You'll need to watch for the small, blue Olympic Discovery Trail markings as you descend the winding road through Sequim Bay State Park past towering firs and cedars. Hiker-biker campsites are available here for trail users. The path climbs out of the park and crosses Discovery Creek on a 150-foot-long restored trestle within earshot of US 101. The trail arrives at Whitefeather Way trailhead at mile 4.8 and crosses Johnson Creek trestle. At 410 feet long and 86 feet above the creek, it's the largest on the peninsula. Built in 1914, it was curved and banked for stability. Volunteers converted the trestle for trail use, even repurposing the water storage platforms with benches.

The route leaves the forest and rolls across an arid prairie toward Sequim. The high peaks of the Olympic Mountains to the south create a rain shadow over the region that's responsible for sunny, dry weather. Meteorological data shows that Sequim gets only 16 inches of rain annually, compared to 26 inches for Port Angeles. The west end of this trail section on the Elwha River gets more than 40 inches, and the eastern end of Crescent Lake gets 70 inches. No wonder Sequim is a popular retirement community.

Following the path along E. Washington Street, the route turns right at Rhodefer Road at 6.4 miles, across from the visitor center, and continues into Carrie Blake Park. The trail goes around the park perimeter to restrooms and parking at Blake Avenue and Fir Street.

Carrie Blake Park in Sequim to Port Angeles City Pier: 20.1 miles
A couple of creek crossings account for the steepest terrain on this mostly level trail section that stretches from the retirement community in Sequim to the bustling waterfront in Port Angeles.

Leaving Carrie Blake Park, the Olympic Discovery Trail heads due west on Fir Street, north (right) on N. Sequim Avenue, and west (left) on the paved trail on the north side of W. Hendrickson Road. Traveling through Sequim neighborhoods, the trail turns left onto a path next to N. Priest Road at 2.3 miles and finds the railroad grade on the right at 2.5 miles. Just ahead is Railroad Bridge Park, where the Dungeness River rages past. Exhibits at the Dungeness River Audubon Center here include displays of local wildlife and a native plant garden.

The restored railroad trestle—the first acquisition for the Olympic Discovery Trail—is one of the few remaining wood truss railroad bridges, completely made from timbers, except for its steel tension bars. A 610-foot trestle extension on the west side crosses the floodplain. An equestrian side path starts at the trailhead on the west end of the bridge.

The railroad grade continues across farmland and prairie and passes the Sequim Valley Airport. The trail crosses Kitchen-Dick Road at mile 6. (For a side trip, consider heading north 3 miles to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. You can hike 5.5 miles to a lighthouse on the Dungeness Spit, one of the longest natural sandspits in the world. Clallam County operates a campground nearby.) In 0.5 mile, the trail turns south along the side of Vautier Road and then enters Robin Hill Farm County Park.

More than 3 miles of hiking trails and 2.5 miles of equestrian trails wind through the forest, meadows, and wetlands in the park. The National Park Service grows native plants here for the revegetation of the Elwha River valley, where a dam was removed to restore a free-flowing river.

The trail crosses McDonald Creek on a 93-foot-long railroad flatcar bed converted into a bridge. Following Barr and Abbott Roads, the trail runs through pastureland before joining a path on Spring Road. The route continues west along Old Olympic Highway and ducks under the highway at mile 10.7 to cross a creek. Leaving the farmland behind, the path surroundings transform to second-growth forest over the next 3 miles.

At mile 14, the trail enters a forested ravine and descends to the Bagley Creek covered bridge, formerly a Bainbridge Island ferry ramp. You'll want to give way to cyclists descending from the west, who may encounter a dangerous combination of a slippery surface and the sharp turn to the bridge. Ascending to US 101, a good vista of the Olympic Mountains can be enjoyed at the Deer Park Overlook. The trail passes the Morse Creek trailhead, reenters the woods, and makes a steep, 150-foot plunge to the Morse Creek trestle.

The trail heads north past a residential neighborhood for a mile and abruptly arrives at the Strait of Juan de Fuca with spectacular views along the coast and across the water to Canada. The 4-mile path to downtown Port Angeles hugs the shoreline, allowing opportunities to spot birds and sea life. The Ediz Hook sandspit that protects the Port Angeles harbor can be seen after turning onto the waterfront trail, soon followed by views of historic buildings in downtown.

Arriving at City Pier, you will discover opportunities for shopping, dining, and lodging. The Feiro Marine Life Center features a touch tank for aquatic life, and a tower provides views of the mountains and strait. A ferry offers service to Victoria, and buses at the transit center can give travelers a lift back to Sequim.

Port Angeles City Pier to Elwha River: 7.1 miles
Leaving behind the busy maritime district in Port Angeles, this route climbs to views overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca and ends at the Elwha River, site of the biggest dam removal project in history.

The Olympic Discovery Trail is also known as the Port Angeles Waterfront Trail as it heads west along the north side of Railroad Avenue, Front Street, and Marine Drive. Passing several shops, cafés, and marine businesses, it forks to the right 1.8 miles from City Pier to sail out toward the Coast Guard station on Ediz Hook. The sandspit extends to picnic areas, parks, and beaches, where visitors can scan the horizon for orca pods, identify birds, or look for marine life. Sail & Paddle Park features a special area for people with disabilities.

Instead of heading right to Ediz Hook, however, this route takes the left fork, crossing Marine Drive and climbing the aptly named W. Hill Street. (Though both sides of the street have shoulders, the south side is wider to accommodate trail traffic.) Stenciled emblems on the road direct travelers onto W. Fourth Street, where Crown Park presents views over the harbor. The route turns right onto S. Milwaukee Drive, which leads to the W. 10th Street trailhead at 3.1 miles.

The path resumes on the peaceful, wooded railroad corridor. The W. 18th Street trailhead is just down the trail at 3.8 miles, and the trail passes the end of an airport runway before it crosses Dry Creek and arrives at the Kacee Way trailhead (4.9 miles), donated by the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe. Deer and smaller wildlife are frequently seen roaming the area surrounding the path.

The trail descends gradually for 1.5 miles into the lush Elwha River floodplain. A trail bridge suspended beneath the 589-foot-long Elwha River Bridge, completed in 2009, enables unobstructed views up and down the river. From here, or down below at river level, visitors can see islands of sediment slowly migrating downstream. The sand was released from behind 100-year-old dams that the federal government began removing in 2012. As a result, salmon are returning to spawn upriver.

Though the trail ends here, a temporary on-road route continues west toward Joyce and Lake Crescent. Consult the Olympic Discovery Trail's official website for details.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach Blyn, from the intersection of State Route 20 and US 101 near Port Townsend, take US 101 W for 11.3 miles. Turn right onto Blyn Crossing (opposite Snow Creek Road), and then turn right again at the T-intersection onto Old Blyn Highway. Pass by the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal Headquarters. In 0.4 mile, park at the library on the right at the end of the complex.

To reach Carrie Blake Park in Sequim, from the intersection of SR 20 and US 101 near Port Townsend, take US 101 W for 15.9 miles. Exit onto E. Washington Street. After traveling approximately 0.9 mile, turn right onto S. Blake Avenue. In 0.3 mile, access the trail, parking, and restrooms at E. Fir Street and N. Blake Avenue. Clallam County Transit buses carry bike racks. Schedule and routes are available online.

For trail access at Port Angeles City Pier, from Sequim, take US 101 W about 16 miles. Turn right onto N. Lincoln Street in Port Angeles. Turn right for parking at City Pier.

For Elwha River bridge parking, take US 101 W from Port Angeles about 4.5 miles. Turn right onto Laird Road. In 0.7 mile, turn left onto Elwha River Road. In another 0.7 mile, turn left onto Crown Z Water Road, which leads to a water treatment plant beneath the bridge.

Olympic Discovery Trail - Blyn to Elwha River Reviews

We began our 20 mile out-and-back ride at a small parking lot near Gehrke and Wild Current Rds near MM20 in Sequim. The parking lot had space for about five cars. We headed west towards Port Angeles. The first five miles of the trail, which is heavily wooded, was very narrow with sharp, blind curves with a lot of up-and-downs. You would gain some speed on a downhill section only to have to brake because of the narrowness and curviness of the trail and the uncertainty of what was in the opposite direction. This section would not be considered a “rails-to-trail” type of trail.

Once we crossed the Morse Creek Trestle Bridge, the trail widened with views of the strait. This five-mile section into Port Angeles was the nicest section. We stopped near the Marine Center before turning around.

If I were to do this ride again, I would park at the Deer Park Trailhead and cycle into Port Angeles and perhaps check out the path along Ediz Hook. There was nothing of interest for the first five miles to warrant cycling that section again unless you were doing it for the mileage or were traveling the entire trail. There were two port-a-potties along the route and no other amenities.

We began our out-and-back 20 mile ride at the Jamestown S-Klallam Tribal Headquarters off of Old Blyn Highway. There is parking in back of the library or you can park in one of the parking lots at the tribal headquarters. You’ll find bathrooms at the trailhead.

The trail, for the most part, was in very good condition. It varied from narrow and winding to wide and straight. At some points, the trail ran parallel to highway 101 but was often buffered by trees. There is a short section at the beginning of the ride that is on a very lightly traveled road. There are some easy road crossing along the trail.

The ride into Sequim was along Washington Street/Avenue with a short segment on the street before arriving at Carrie Blake Park where we turned around. The tourist bureau is just at the turnoff for Carrie Blake Park. The park in Sequim is a good stop for lunch or, if you prefer, Sequim Bay State Park is another option.

We would recommend this section of the trail.

I rode from the City Pier in Port Angeles, east, for 15 miles. I wanted to go farther, but had time constraints. Most of the ride is great, and I am so glad it is here! I just wanted to comment that around 5 or so miles east of City Pier, there are some quite steep sections - not long, but steep, and they have totally blind and very sharp curves on them, and the trail is very narrow. A recipe for disaster... So - ride carefully, and if you can't see around the curve - go really, really slow. I encountered:

1) Deer
2) Families complete with grandma in a motorized wheelchair and dogs, taking up the entire trail
3) Horses
4) Families with children taking up the entire trail

And - even great cyclists just can't stay on their side of the road when the turn is super sharp and you are going up or down.

Again - a great trail, but be careful while having fun!!!

Hopefully I can do other sections tomorrow!

Accordion

The Railroad bridge is now completely open and in great shape.

Just to let people know, the permanent trestle replacement at Railroad Bridge park in Sequim has been mostly completed and reopened to the public. Ongoing work on the ramp leading to the Truss section will probably require a brief re-closure in February to replace the wooden deck with concrete. As much preliminary work as possible is being done with the bridge open, so it is hoped that the closure in February will be short.

Wonderful views, and a little urban too. Have been mostly on the eastern end; Sequim to Blyn. Even when you are not on a "trail", the shoulders a generous and people are mostly polite. Very little hills!!

The Dungeness River trestle at Railroad Bridge Park was closed in February 2015 after storm runoff washed out several supports. The Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, owners of park, are proposing a mid-December, 2015, reopening. Meanwhile, you can find a 4.5-mile detour around the site at http://www.olympicdiscoverytrail.com/planning_info/detour_route.html .

Rode the trail 11/08/14, it was a beautiful day. Parked at the tribal center across from the 7 Cedars casino. For the most part the trail has gradual grades but north of Sequim there are some short but very steep grades. I would recommend a bike with 3 chain rings in the front as I dropped into granny gear several times. My partner has a road bike with 2 chain rings and she got caught off guard on one steep grade and couldn't clip out... and down she went. Luckily she didn't get hurt but we made it to Port Angeles. Weather got a little chilly so we didn't stay long. Ride back to Blyn was pleasant. The very last part was getting dark but we had adequate lighting. All and all the trip took us about 6 hours including the 35 minute stop in Port Angeles for a hamburger at the DQ. I would highly recommend this section of the trail, it's beautiful and very diverse. There are also plenty of porta potties that are exceptionally clean. Oh, and you will get a good workout too!

Posted by TrailLink user "smacklow" in July 2009.

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 along the waterfront, encompassing Port Angeles Harbor. The water is rarely more than a few yards over your shoulder. Daytime parking is free out at the tip of the hook.

The trail is paved and level for almost all its length, but does involve a short stretch of road sharing in the central third, as it passes through the waterfront industrial area. Since the ride parallels the waterfront, if you like big ships or small boats this is the place. There are plenty of places to eat right around the ferry dock downtown, where you can take a side trip across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria, British Columbia. Make sure that you have your US documentation.

Just east of the ferry terminal at Hollywood Beach the ride changes from city downtown to virtual wilderness, as the railbed hugs the bottom of almost vertical bluffs. This is prime habitat and you may see bald eagles flying over the harbor in Port Angeles. At Francis Street there is an easy climb out of the trail for access to food or medical services. The trail passes through the old Rayonier plant at Ennis Creek and is diverted for a few hundred yards to avoid an industrial waste cleanup area. Beyond the bridge the trail continues as the Olympic Discovery Trail.

Posted by TrailLink user "eckart" in June 2012.

Although the web site at http://www.olympicdiscoverytrail.com/trail_maps/pt_angeles_w.html already contains a detailed description of this trail (including a nice elevation profile software), I wanted to add a few observations and images to the TrailLink web site. Miles are in (parentheses), GPS coordinates are in {braces} and numbers in [brackets] refer to the numbered images posted herewith.
This is a description of Olympic Discovery Trail starting from the new Elwha River bridge and ending in suburbia of Port Angeles. The lower Elwha River bridge is hard to find. Traveling from Port Angeles on Highway 101 going west, just before the junction with Highway 112, take Laird Rd. to the right and Elwha River Rd. to the left, winding its way down past steep bluffs and a slide area. Before actually crossing the river, take a narrow, single lane road marked CrownZ Water Rd. with only one turnout to the left down to the parking area below the bridge(s). This road is NOT suitable for trailers or RVs. You should keep your window open and keep honking your horn as you slowly drive down to anticipate and alert oncoming traffic. Now we have this beautiful bridge, but the trail does not yet continue on the west side [1] {+48.11406; -123.55494} of the bridge. Downriver from the parking area is a waste water treatment plant and a fish hatchery, but it is not clear if visitors are welcome at the fish rearing ponds or not. Several months ago two dams upstream from here were removed and the river is now cutting into and eroding all the silt and sediment that had settled at the bottom of Lake Mills and Lake Aldwell during the decades of their existence and carrying it downstream. As a result, the otherwise crystal-clear water of the Elwha River is currently murky with silt and this problem will continue for several years [2]. After admiring the bridge construction with its dedicated pedestrian/bicycle deck suspended from the main bridge deck [3], I set my odometer at zero (0.0) and started the pleasant ride along the currently westernmost developed (paved) section of the Olympic Discovery Trail into town. The paved trail gains 200 ft. as it works its way up out of the Elwha River valley. There is a bench at a view point where one has a view across the valley (but the river is not visible at this time of the year with leaves on the trees). The paved surface trail ended at (1.93) Macee Way where there was active road construction with re-paving the main road and filling in a gravel bed for the foundation of the ODT trail that will run parallel to Macee Way {+48.12507; -123.53583} [4] until it crosses Lower Elwha Rd. On the other side of Lower Elwha Road, the Olympic Discovery continued and there was the familiar blue trail sign. At the moment, the trail continues on soft surface with freshly filled <1/8 in. crushed rock on a foundation of 1-inch crushed rock. A good combination for trail building, except the soil has settled unevenly and the ride is not very smooth. We hope they will smoothen it out before they apply a layer of asphalt. At (2.59) {+48.12367; -123.52352} is the new Dry Creek Bridge [5]. At (3.50) {+48.12761; -123.50489} the trail crosses W. 18th St. Here is a new trail head under construction with parking for 6 cars, a port-a-potty and signage and landscaping under construction [6]. At (4.27) {+48.13084; -123.48910} at W. 10th St. is another trail head [7] but without designated parking.
The trail now continued on W. Milwaukee Dr., and at (4.75) {+48.13167; -123.47930} reentered its own right-of-way, and then emerged in a residential area crossing N-street at its junction with W 6th St. Riding through the suburban residential area down to the waterfront did not seem very attractive and I turned around at this point. I'll have to explore the trail from the ferry dock out to the Ediz Hook light house on another occasion.
P.S.: For the more ambitious mountain biker, there is also the nearby Adventure Route at {+48.10697; -123.56316} [8] on the south side of Highway 112 just west of the middle Elwha River bridge, but that trail was not explored on this trip. This Adventure Route is a challenging mountain bike course with many improvements, but there does not yet seem to be a trail connection between the lower and the middle Elwha River bridges. The Adventure Route is being built by Clallam County volunteers as an adjunct to the Olympic Discovery Trail. There is roadside parking for a maximum of ten cars along Highway 112. The bulletin board [9] has a detailed map of the trail system. See http://www.olympicdiscoverytrail.com/side_trips/adventure_route.html

Amtrak from Portland to Seattle with my bike and Dungeness Bus to Port Angeles for a week of biking the area. Warmed up on 2nd day on first 8 miles of Olympic Discovery trail along P.A. waterfront and on to Ediz Hook beaches. Day 3 on Spruce railroad trail along Lake Crescent. Day 4 on Elwha River Rd. Day 5, I took a taxi ride up to Hurricane Ridge in the National Park and biked 20 miles down to Port Angeles. Day 6 on the East Central O.D. trail from downtown Port Angeles to Sequim 20 miles later. Great ride, had a lot of fun. Bus from Sequim back to Seattle.

We rode this trail (myself, wife and 8 year old) for the first time yesterday (24 July, 2011). We started from the
Jamestown S'Klallam tribal center in Blyn with the intention of riding for a total of 30 miles. Overall I was impressed with the trail and variety of scenery. My only complaint was the lack of signs on the trail to direct you. You ride on bike paths and low traffic roads (in Sequim) and it's not always obvious which direction you need to go. Fortunately we met up with a group that had cycled the trail before and followed them. With adequate signage this would easily be a 5 star trail.

I'm new to Rail to Trail rides so I'm not sure of the Rating system. I gave it a 4 because I liked it, my wife liked it and we plan to return often. East of Sequim the trail is hilly but not overly so. West of Sequim it was flat as far as we went (We did not make it to Port Angeles.)

The Map provided here is off a bit when going through Sequim but still gets you thru town. Note that on the day we went there were signs posted with arrows pointing the way. They are not identified as Olympic Discovery but are posted where the trail becomes city streets. DO NOT follow them. Keep to the map and you will be fine.

The ponds at Carrie Blake park in Sequim are worth a look-see and make for a great lunch stop if you brought your own food. Otherwise the town has plenty of spots to grab a bite.

We'll be back (soon)!

Carvendive

I'm new to Rail to Trail rides so I'm not sure of the Rating system. I gave it a 4 because I liked it, my wife liked it and we plan to return often. East of Sequim the trail is hilly but not overly so. West of Sequim it was flat as far as we went (We did not make it to Port Angelis. The Map provided here is off a bit when going through Sequim but still gets you thru town. Note that on the day we went there were signs posted with arrows pointing the way. They are not identified as Olympic Discovery but are posted where the trail becomes city streets. DO NOT follow them. Keep to the map and you will be fine. The ponds at Carrie Blake park in Sequim are worth a look-see and make for a great lunch stop if you brought your own food. Otherwise the town has plenty of spots to grab a bite.
We'll be back (soon)!

Some pics of the trail can be seen on the North Olympic Discovery Trail Marathon site. I've ran this three times and it is a beautiful trail.

OLYMPIC DISCOVERY TRAIL

Pt. Angeles, WA

5.26.2010


This looks like an interesting ride. Pity no one has posted a photo or a review to TrailLink. Feel free to do so.

The TrailBear might get over to take a ride this summer. He has a full survey roster on the mainland side, but if it comes on to rain a bunch this summer, he knows that Port Angeles and Sequim are in the rain shadow of the Olympics – and get about 15” per year vs. 36.2 for Seattle or 145” in the Hoh Rainforest on the weather side of the Olympics. Sounds like a good excuse to him when the showers are rumbling up the strait, headed for his boat in the San Juans.

There appears to be a lot of blacktop trail to ride. The Port Townsend Bicycle Association maps – which you will want to download (they are the best available), start their stationing at Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles at 0.00. There is a leg westward of MP 0.00 out to the end of Ediz Hook (nice harbor and strait views) which they show as off road.

Google Earth 2006 coverage shows it as urban streets, but a lot can happen in four years. The stationing stops at MP 17 over on the western edge of Sequim, but there is more trail. It runs on to the bottom of Sequim Bay, about another seven miles.

<http://www.ptbikes.org/index.php?page=maps>

If you have limited time, go for the beach ride. There is two hour parking downtown around the Hollywood Beach, so you might want to stage out of the …


DEER PARK SCENIC GATEWAY CENTER, GE: 48.106842° -123.347631°

Park here or a bit further west where Salt Water Dr. hits US 101. Be aware that there have been numerous merge accidents along this curving section of 101. They are going to put in a full service rest area and overpass in this area. Probably put it out to bid in 2010. The PTBA map shows two parking lots and a restroom here.

From Deer Park you can take the ODT westward. Head down Morse Ck. to the beach and ride up to Hollywood Beach or even out to Ediza Spit. It should be about 5 miles to Hollywood Beach and a few more to the end of the spit. This should be the most scenic part of the trail.

The trail eastward of Deer Park is mostly a farm, field and backyard ride towards and thru Sequim. You only rejoin the water vicinity Sequim Bay State Park.


Ride on,

TrailBear

Going blind looking at trails on Google Earth

Sunday morning June 29th, 2008 I rode the recently opened Adventure section of the Olympic Discovery Trail. This is by far the best trail I have ever ridden, it even had that new trail smell to it. The trail is well marked once you find the trail head. The trail website tells you that the trailhead is just 0.2 miles past the Elwha river on the left side but only after making several passes did I see the white rule sign up on the hill. What looks like an asphalt service road on the same side (left) that is about 50 feet long and ends at a private road entrance is what they call the parking lot. This is definitly not for road bikes. Although it is all dirt it is a very easy ride and the blue trail markers are well posted and easy to see. only at mile 15.2 did I fail to make the left turn and had to double back about a mile. That marker is on the left and also there is a white gate on that road so just look for the gate. The trail website has some very detailed maps. Print them out and take them with you. There are several motorcycle barriers along the way with warning signs telling you to coast through them with pedals straight up and down. The idea is that the lower pedal will go between the barriers and the upper one will clear the short barrier. I advise stopping and squeezing through them. My canondale F-5 could not clear 75% of the barriers. The views are incredible, from rain forrest to open plains with a fantastic view of the Straits and Canada. The trail is about 24 miles long and it took me about four hours to ride it. What is nice about this trail is that you can get back to your car by taking the Joyce Piedmont road for four miles to highway 112, turn right and ride 10 more miles which took me about an hour and a half. Highway 112 has a wide shoulder so don't worry about the traffic.

"The Discovery trail from Sequim to Port Angeles runs along an old railway right of way for about half of the 22-mile length. The rest of the trail is an amalgamation of power line right of ways, old logging roads and road shoulders. From west to east, the trail starts out along the shoreline, with the waves lapping up literally feet away from the path. The views to the north across the Straits of Juan de Fuca to Victoria and the San Juan Islands are spectacular. About five miles from the start, the trail cuts inland and climbs a hill alongside Highway 101. From there, the route runs through forestland, suburban housing developments and farm fields. The route is mostly flat but there are a few sections where the trail dives down into small valleys then climbs steeply out the other side. The last couple of miles are on road shoulders in suburban Sequim. Signage is a little sparse in this area but common sense will guide you.
The trail surface is paved asphalt for about 95% of the way. The other five percent is hard packed gravel. I had no problem with my road bike riding the gravel, even with relatively skinny 700c x 25 tires. Condition of the trail is excellent throughout the entire length, with several places to stop for picnic lunches.
One great attribute this trail has is the bus service offered by Clallam Transit between Sequim and Port Angeles. We were able to park in an off-street lot in Sequim, ride the bus to Port Angeles then ride the trail back to Sequim. The cost was very small. In fact I misunderstood the bus driver and paid double, which was still a bargain. Clallam Transit has a website with current schedules and fares.
Hats off to Clallam County for doing such a great job on the Discovery Trail.
"

"Olympic BirdFest 2007, Sequim, WA, March 30 - April 1, 2007
Visit the Olympic Discovery Trail at Railroad Bridge Park to discover the birds of the coastal Pacific Northwest—Marbled Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Harlequin Ducks, Dippers, Black Oystercatchers, Long-tailed Ducks, and more. Guided field trips, a boat cruise in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and a salmon banquet with our partner, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. The Birdfest with the most spectacular setting!
Contact: Dungeness River Audubon Center, P.O. Box 2450, Sequim, WA 98382;
360-681-4076; info@olympicbirdfest.org ; www.olympicbirdfest.org.
"

"This trail runs from east of Sequim, to Port Angeles, and on out to the tip of Ediz Hook. It is paved the whole way. The previous poster is right -- the trail is not 100% on the old railroad grade, but it often is. This was the old Milwaukee Road -- trains rode a ferry to get to the Olympic Peninsula, and the right-of-way was abandoned before the Railbanking provision of the National Trails System Act was passed by Congress in 1983.

Anyway, some private property owners took over bits of the old grade, so there are some 90 degree turns. And most of the trestles are gone so there are a few dips, but I found it to be a marvelous ride. The four miles east of downtown Port Angeles follow the shoreline under a steep bluff. This was the best part, it's remote, quiet, and a smooth ride.

Port Angeles to the end east of Sequim is 26 miles, if the mileposts are anything to go by. Port Angeles to Ediz Hook is another 7 miles, for a total of 33 miles or a 66 mile round trip.

The Peninsula Trails Coalition, which has been pushing this trail, plans to extend it east to Port Townsend and west to Forks, or possibly La Push, making it a true trail of Olympic Discovery. I looked on their Web site and it appears they are in the thick of right-of-way acquisition, flagging, and construction of various bits. They appear to be an amazing group."

"We did several stretches of the trail around Sequim and Port Angeles. The trail is well maintained but riders should also be aware that the trail is often not on the old railroad right-of-way. In many areas the trail leaves the old railroad right-of-way (usually with a 90 degree turn and a 12 percent grade). The trail does not appear to have been designed by folks who ride bicycles. There are some areas of the trail that do follow the old railroad right-of-way, but be aware that when you leave the former rail grade you are traveling on a trail that, in my opinion, was not designed with bicyclists in mind."

"This trail is a hodge-podge of rail-trail and county roads. It's a very non-linear type of trail. Too bad they couldn't have managed to negotiate with landowners to acquired the original railroad right-of-way.

One trestle bridge didn't even have a proper approach ramp to it, just stairs with wheelchair ramps, not wide enough for bicycles (on bike riding). Another part had a rolly-polly terrain while the original level right-of-way was right next to it.

It's a nice trail, but not really a linear trail. Hopefully the west end west of Port Angeles will be better. I rode between Squim and Port Angeles."

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