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The Port Townsend waterfront marks the eastern endpoint of the Olympic Discovery Trail, which will one day stretch 126 miles from Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean. This section of trail is named in memory of Larry Scott, one of the many dedicated volunteers who have helped develop Olympic Peninsula trails over the past 25 years.
In 1887, Port Townsend residents formed the Port Townsend & Southern Railroad to Quilcene, and passenger and freight service began in 1890. Passenger rail service between Port Townsend and Port Angeles did not come until the early 1900s, after logging work was well under way. The regional movement to create the Olympic Discovery Trail began after railroad service was discontinued in the 1980s.
The waterfront trailhead offers a view of the marina and beyond. The intermittent, separated horse trail begins just beyond the trailhead, along with map and history kiosks. A little climb to two road crossings introduces you to this peaceful community trail among maples, alders, firs, and ferns.
The path ascends some small inclines here and there and briefly parallels State Route 20. Pass under the road at mile 2.6, as the railroad once did, and bear left. As you head up toward the road, a sign directs you to go straight to the roadside shoulder and then right to the trail. (Signs are placed on the road, inviting road riders and pedestrians to pass under SR 20 rather than cross the bridge.)
At 3 miles, you'll pass under Discovery Road and relax into rural countryside, crossing small roads every now and then. Here, an equestrian trail reappears and heads up the side of the hill. This pretty wooded section, separated from Cape George Road, meets the Cape George trailhead at 3.6 miles.
Signs direct you to cross the rural Edwards Road. You'll pass horses and a golf course hidden by trees before crossing S. Discovery Road at 6.1 miles. Use caution. On the other side, you'll notice benches strategically placed atop the short hill just where the grade approaches 10%. Wind through the trees, again on the original railroad grade, and up to the Milo Curry trailhead at mile 7.3.
In addition to enjoying the trail, you may want to spend some time in Port Townsend, home of good food, great views, Victorian homes, artist shops, film festivals, and loads of natural beachfront at Fort Worden State Park.
To reach the waterfront trailhead from the intersection of SR 20 and US 101 near Port Townsend, take SR 20 E for 7.7 miles to Port Townsend. Turn left to stay on SR 20. Go 3.8 miles (SR 20 will become W. Sims Way). Turn right at the Haines Place traffic light, and go straight into the boatyard, toward the water. Park near the restroom.
To reach the Milo Curry trailhead from the intersection of SR 20 and US 101 near Port Townsend, take SR 20 E for 6.2 miles. Turn left onto S. Discovery Road. In 0.3 mile, turn right onto Milo Curry Road. Fork left to the trailhead.
Horse trailer turnarounds and portable toilets are available at Milo Curry and Cape George.
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