Olympic Discovery Trail


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Olympic Discovery Trail Facts

States: Washington
Counties: Clallam, Jefferson
Length: 90 miles
Trail end points: Washington St (Port Townsend) to Milo Curry Rd (Adelma Beach); Old Blyn Hwy (Blyn) and Elwha River Rd (Port Angeles); Lake Crescent to Mary Clark Rd (Sappho)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6401666

Olympic Discovery Trail Description

The Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) will one day stretch 138 miles from Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean. Traversing ancestral lands of the Coast Salish and S’Klallam People, the trail is an ideal way to experience the scenic beauty of the north Olympic Peninsula.

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 1985. The Peninsula Trails Coalition, formed in 1988, has spearheaded the complex effort to achieve the vision of the ODT ever since.

Port Townsend to Blyn

The Port Townsend waterfront marks the eastern endpoint of the Olympic Discovery Trail. This section of trail is named in memory of Larry Scott, one of the founders of the Peninsula Trails Coalition.

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. (Note that this east section of the ODT is unpaved and features grades that might be challenging to some users, including wheelchair users). A little climb to two road crossings introduces you to this peaceful community trail among maples, alders, firs, and ferns.

The crushed stone 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.

Several smaller sections of trail exist, including a brief section at the southern tip of Discovery Bay and another east from the Clallam/Jefferson county line.

Blyn to Elwha River

The roughly 35-mile section of the Olympic Discovery Trail extending between Diamond Point Road (just east of Sequim Bay) and the Elwha River is considered one of the trail’s crown jewels. Bounded by a sparkling tidal estuary to the east and a recently undammed river to the west, the rail-trail passes through the towns of Sequim and Port Angeles as it traverses lowlands along the base of the Olympic Mountains.

The route generally 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 to Seattle. 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. After community attempts were unsuccessful in having the rail corridor repurposed into a full-length trail, the Peninsula Trails Coalition formed to begin and sustain the long-term campaign to build the trail.

The trail is now largely complete between Blyn and the Elwha River. At Blyn, the trail begins at the Jamestown S’Klallam Reservation and skirts Sequim Bay through a forested state park, ending in the town of Sequim (pronounced “skwim”). From Sequim to Port Angeles, the five-mile-long Waterfront Trail segment travels along the shoreline is considered the first completed piece of the Olympic Discovery Trail. The trail climbs to views overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca and ends at the Elwha River, site of the biggest dam removal project in US history.

Elwha River to La Push (including the Spruce Railroad Trail)

From the Elwha River, a short, completed section connects the area of Coville and Ramapo. At Joyce, the trail heads south towards Lake Crescent and enters Olympic National Park. This section of the Olympic Discovery Trail, possibly the foremost of the ODT’s showpieces, offers scenic views along the north shore of Lake Crescent, in Olympic National Park, which was established in 1938 by President Franklin Roosevelt. The park offers over 922,000 acres of rain forest, old-growth forest, glacier-topped peaks and alpine meadows. Its forests are home to cougars, bears, deer, woodpeckers, golden eagles, and mountain goats. Trail users might even see peregrine falcons nesting above the trail on Pyramid Mountain.

Sitka spruce is unique to these temperate rain forests of the coastal Pacific Northwest. Its strong, light wood was found to be particularly useful for World War I–era airplanes, so the U.S. Army built the Spruce Railroad to transport this strategic lumber from the coastal forests to Port Angeles. However, World War I ended just 19 days after completion of the railroad, so commercial logging companies took over the rail line and used it until 1954. In honor of its railroad past, this section of the Olympic Discovery Trail is commonly known as the Spruce Railroad Trail.

This section of the Olympic Discovery Trail currently ends at the western end of Sol Duc State Park. The Peninsula Trails Coalition has plans to extend the trail west through Forks, best known in modern times for the Twilight series of books and movies, to the coastal town of La Push. Home to the Quileute Tribe, the brief section of open trail in La Push is the western terminus of the Olympic Discovery Trail and the Great American Rail-Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

Port Townsend to Blyn

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.

Blyn to Elwha River

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.

Elwha River to La Push (including the Spruce Railroad Trail)

To reach the E. Beach Road (Lyre River) trailhead, head west from Port Angeles on US 101, and go approximately 15 miles. Turn right onto paved E. Beach Road, following signs for "Log Cabin Resort." After 3.1 miles, pass the resort and follow a sign to the left marked "Spruce Railroad Trail." Reach the trailhead in 0.8 mile.

To reach the Sol Duc Road parking lot, take US 101 W from Port Angeles for approximately 28 miles. After passing Lake Crescent, look for an Olympic National Park sign that reads "Sol Duc Valley Hot Springs Resort." Turn right into a roadside parking lot across from Sol Duc Road.

To reach the Camp Creek trailhead, from Port Angeles, take US 101 W for 35 miles. Turn left at mile marker 211 onto Cooper Ranch Road (Klahowya Campground is on the right), and turn left into the trailhead. From Forks, travel northeast on US 101 for 20 miles, and turn right onto Cooper Ranch Road.

Olympic Discovery Trail Reviews

No helpful campsite information in app

While I understand the need to use RTT as a form of economic development, it sure would be mighty appreciated to include some landmark state and county parks. We spent far too much time planning for this. Yup that’s part of the adventure but still.

ODT with a SAG vehicle

We were four road bikers who spent four days biking from NE of Blyn (where the paved trail began off of Old Blyn Hwy) to LaPush. We knew there would be some stretches of unpaved trails and multi-use roadways, so we made sure we had vehicle support. Our tour was successful but we would caution bikers who might expect a pleasant, uninterrupted journey. Twice we opted to load the bikes and ride in the car because of heavy truck traffic and no shoulders; so, if you're prepared to endure the wind from a passing logging truck, have at it. We met several "endurance" cyclists that we admired greatly - a lone mom on an eBike with a 5-year-old girl who could choose to ride in the well-equipped front-mounted carriage or walk while Mom walked (and pushed the bike). They had experienced a flat rear tire in pouring down rain the previous day that took its toll with a one-mile push-the-bike and a 4-hour wait while other good Samaritans helped them change the tire when an arranged tow vehicle called to say they were too busy to put them on their list. Another two ladies each cycling with trailers, one with one child and the other with two, were loaded to bear with three balance bikes on top of their overnight gear. As we passed them I checked my computer - 6 & 7% grade. We enjoyed the trail and hope to do it again when there are more sections of separated and paved trails. The Spruce RR Trail was wonderful, the highlight of the trip, but a real challenge for the SAG driver to find the other end in order to bike backwards toward the rest of us bikers, our mode of getting the most biking possible without giving up the SAG.

The Best!

I spent three days exploring different sections of this trail. So beautiful and well maintained!

Sequim to Port Angelos

We had a great ride from Sequim to Port Angelos and back—about 40 miles. Be aware that a section of the trail is closed and you must detour where they are replacing a bridge. TRAIL SECTION CLOSURE AHEAD The Olympic Discovery Trail crossing over the Dungeness River at Railroad Bridge Park, between Carlsborg and Sequim, is CLOSED for construction of a trail bridge extension from: July 5 - September 30, 2022 You will not be able to cross the bridge! NOTE: Travel around the closure area requires use of public roads. roads that have no sidewalks or bike lanes and contain road sections with no shoulders or narrow shoulder widths. 0 Old Olympic Hwy Heath Rd. Closed Trail Area W. Hendrickson Rd. Olympic Discovery Trail Kendall Rd.


spruce railroad

Beautiful ride.

late September ride

Started at the Red Lion Hotel in Port Angeles and went five miles towards Sequim. Picturesque and fair maintenance I’d say. This trail could be a gem with a little TLC. Going the other direction towards Ediz Hook is through an industrial area without much visual interest.

Port Townsend to Rialto Beach

I recently completed the entire trail, with just a few deviations. For starters, take the bus from Four Corners outside Port Townsend to Discovery Bay (about 6 miles). This avoids a narrow busy section with no shoulders. I also took a loop past Tounge Point and Crescent Bay to get off of highway 112 sooner. Finally, I went to Rialto Beach instead of La Push because the reservation is closed due to covid.

Most of the route is on nicely paved asphalt trails. I camped at Squim Bay Stte park, Fairholme and Mora cpamgrounds in Olympic NP. At Squim Bay, reserve the bike in site, as it is much cheaper than a regular campsite. The best section is past Lake Crescent, one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. Fairholme campground does not have an obvious route connecting to the trail. You need to get off the trail several miles before and take the gravel road closer to the lake.

There is about 10 miles on highway 101 that's not great, and a shorter stretch on highway 112, but the rest of the route is great. There is bus service from Forks all the way back to Port Townsend for 3 bucks.

Spruce Railroad Trail Beauty

August 16, 2021 we rode the Spruce Railroad Trail up and back 21 miles. The beautiful views of Crescent Lake as we rode along the forested paved bike path were spectacular. The weather was a perfect 60 degrees with clear skies. About half the trail goes through gorgeous forest land quite high above the lake where the lake is not visible. A portion of the trail is almost at lake level. Be sure to stop at the Punchbowl and walk a short distance to the bridge. The northeast end of the trail has a nice parking lot. The trail is well maintained. There were quite a few walkers and bikers all enjoying time on the trail. Looking forward to riding this trail again. We also rode a short trail that ended at the double decker bridge and Elwah River--very pretty.

Beautiful Rides

We rode two sections, in Port Angeles and the Spruce Railroad section along the north shore of Lake Crescent. The Port Angeles section is great, well maintained, and really beautiful as you skirt the shore. There was one section of asphalt before it curved out to the bird reserve that was really bumpy, but otherwise we really enjoyed the ride. Everyone on the path was really friendly and the weather was great. The Spruce Railroad Trail was a lot of fun. The first section has a lot of walkers, dogs, and kids, so many that we started to think it was a bad idea. However, once you go through the tunnel and pass the Devil's Punch Bowl, the walkers mostly fall off (stopping to eat, swim, or go back), and we practically had the trail to ourselves. Again, everyone on the trail was friendly and courteous, and the ride is stunningly beautiful, especially along the lake shore. As we got further away from the water, I did get paranoid about cougars and bears, but that's just typical me. The ride was great fun, and again, the weather was really pleasant, even in the middle of August. We highly recommend the ODT.

Port Angeles to Sequim

Rode 30 miles roundtrip on this trail last week of August in gorgeous weather - cool, sunny & dry. This section fo trail is not in Olympic National Park. Traverses a variety of landscapes - city, ocean front, forest & farmland. There are many sections that are not on the original rail grade so there are some climbs and descents along with a few river crossings on original trestles. On my return, I got caught in the dark. Fortunately, I had a light!!! All in all a good ride!

Brilliant Blue Waters to Lushly Verdant Forest

I rode a small section of this trail in late August, from the Sol Duc trailhead east to Ovington with a short diversion to Lake Crescent, about 10 miles roundtrip. The trail was closed for improvements at points further east. I was extremely impressed by the lush trail and beautiful lake. The portion of the trail I rode on was terrific and fairly level. At Ovington, one can easily access Lake Crscent which is pristinely gorgeous. I also visted the unique bridge spanning the Elwha River. Due to time constraints, I only drove the bridge which is a double decker with autos on top and the trail bridge suspended below. The Spruce is set to re-open in the next month and look forward to opportunity to ride more it!

Beautiful and Fun

We rode this beautiful and fun ride and enjoyed water views (the first mile) and beautiful, shaded forests the remainder 6 miles. The trail was well marked in all but one area (about 6 miles in from Port Townsend) where you ride a gravelly rural road for a very short distance. One small section through the forest is almost like single track: fun!

lost in Sequim

I liked the trail. I started in Blyn. The first part is a little hilly and a fairly dull ride through the woods. I got lost multiple times in Sequim both coming and going. Better signage please. After that is goes through some nice rural areas and farmland. I turned around about 20 miles in because I was having a few back spasms. I missed what I’ve been told in the best part, with nice water views. I’ll ride the entire route next time. Please add better signs and directions in Sequim.

Some parts are better than others

Rode 30 miles from Blyn to Port Angeles in 3 hours 45 minutes with my dad, we had hybrid road bikes and had a decent time of it. The path is mostly pretty good quality and well-marked except for one part where we got lost in a Sequim residential area.

The first part of the trail is uninteresting with limited views of the sound and it's pretty up and down. Most of it is paved, but not all as the short description of this path indicates.

I didn't really know what we were getting into and only planned for the ride to take a couple of hours but ended up being too steep for my dad to ride in some of the creek crossings so we were delayed. I'm just a hobbyist rider so maybe I was simply unprepared but make sure you know that this path has a fair amount of elevation changes. When we did finally get to Port Angeles on the water, it was awesome! I have a feeling that we ended at the best part of the ride.

Enjoyed, but if I did it again, I might start on the West end and ride it the other direction and end sooner when the views start to wane.

ODT – MM20 (Sequim) west to MM0 (Port Angeles)

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.

Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal Headquarters to Carrie Blake Park in Sequim

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.

Great trail, but in parts, be very careful!

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!

Larry Scott - out and back

We began the trail at the Port Townsend waterfront behind the boatyard. We cycled the entire trail – out and back. The trail is about 7.3 miles one way.

The trail width varies but most of it is narrow. The widest parts of the trail are along easements adjacent to private land since the trail also doubles as someone’s driveway. At about mile 6, the trail gets very narrow and is actually a footpath through the woods for a short distance to Discovery Road. Once you cross Discovery Road, there is a short but steep uphill to the end at Milo Curry trailhead.

Contrary to some articles written about the trail, the trail is primarily packed dirt or crushed stone – no asphalt. The only section of the trail that is paved is the underpass under Discovery Road and Highway 20.

There are three trailheads – Port Townsend Waterfront, Cape George, and the newest trailhead at 7.3 miles called Milo Curry. There is no water on the trail but there are porta-potties at each trailhead.

I would certainly recommend this trail. It has a lot of variety from views of the water at the beginning to rural-like settings towards the end.

Attention Trike riders

If you plan on riding west from the East Beach end of the Spruce Railroad Trail, be prepared for dips in the trail which will compromise the rear derailier of your trike. I was not happy with the rocks which jutted from some places of the rail, as they caught the under carriage of my trike. You will have to walk your trike through several streams & it is quite muddy and narrower than your trike in many places.

However, the trail on the west end of the lake is a beautifully maintained paved section, stretching 6.5 miles.

Watch out for bear and mountain lion & read up on how to handle confrontations with these animals.

Railroad Bridge Park Trestle Open

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

Dungeness trestle reopened

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.

Gorgeous in every way

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!!

Wonderful in every way.

There are slight hills, winding through classic Pacific NW scenery. Helpful signs and a parking lot JUST for trail users (with Sani-can and water spigot for filling your water container) !! The whole portion of this trail can easily be done in a day and is quite UN-crowded. Forest, pastures and a stunning view of a part of Puget Sound near the Port Townsend end. Both gravel and paved.

Dungeness River Bridge washed out

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 .

Blyn to Port Angeles

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!

Western section is 5 stars

Spruce Railroad Trail - Western Section - Mt Mueller Trailhead to Camp Creek Trailhead and Klahowya - 6.5 to 7 additional miles of pure beauty.

Last Friday I rode this section of trail East to West, From the Mount Mueller Trailhead to the Camp Creek Trailhead and Klahowya Campground (which is unfortunately closed for the season). I was riding transit to Kalaloch on the coast to go camping, but I was able to stop and make this ride in between Westbound buses. With a heavily loaded bike, I was hoping to avoid any significant hill climbs or hike-a-bike sections. I ran into neither.

I caught the #14 Forks bus (Clallam Transit) out of Port Angeles, and the driver was kind enough to drop me at the Mount Mueller Trailhead (North side of 101). Current descriptions of the Spruce Railroad Trail state that there is about 1.5 miles on the highway between the Eastern section of the trail and this section. My GPS read closer to two miles, but it is an easy stretch of highway - mostly straight with wide shoulders.

At any rate, I crossed the highway South to Forest Service Road #2918, which is a lightly traveled but paved road leading to some active forestry tracts. In the mile or so that I was on shared roadway, I only ran into one logging truck, which was moving slowly and could be heard approaching for some distance. This is in a period of over 20 minutes, as I was stopping to take pictures along the way. A bit over half a mile up the road, I caught my first glimpse of a bridge across the Sol Duc River - I would shortly be crossing that bridge. At something less than a mile from 101, there is a paved road to the right, with a gate that apparently gets locked at night. This road leads to the bridge, up a small hill, then to the separated trail. Of course I had to stop on the bridge and take some pictures. Scouting the route ahead of time in Google Earth, I noticed there would be something of a hill climbing up from the bridge - I estimated it to be a climb of around 200 feet. I am happy to report it is probably less than half that, and the grade is at worst moderate. A short stretch of road later, and you can't miss the entrance to the separated trail on your right.

From this point on, it is pretty much all downhill to the Camp Creek trailhead. The separated trail is beautifully graded and paved - a lot of work went into making this as nice as a trail can be. Early on, the trail doubles back on itself down near the river, and this is really a beautiful section of forest. I noticed a small trail leading off towards the river, but I didn't take it. For the next mile or more, you are treated to peek-a-boo views of the beautiful Sol Duc River, but you will probably need to dismount and leave the trail just a bit to really see the river in all its glory. The forest through here is mature second growth, with a nice open feel to it. Tracts of recently cut timber approach our path, but never intrude until the end of this section. After a recent ride through the Eastern section of the Spruce Railroad Trail in which I encountered a lot of blowdown, I wasn't sure what to expect here. There were a few branches down in places, but only one tree blocking the path, which I was able to move out of the way with some effort. The Fall colors I encountered along the way make this trail a must-ride this time of year, and the damp weather did nothing to detract from the beauty of this trail.

All too soon, I started seeing signs of civilization (gates near a Forest Service access road, which appears to be adjacent to Cooper Ranch Road). The several miles of beautiful paved separated trail through the forest with nobody around is an experience you don't often get, and makes this section one of the best trails I have ever seen.

On the entire trip, I encountered the one logging truck mentioned earlier, one mushroom picker near the other end, and two hunters on bicycles just near Cooper Ranch Road (deer season is open, but they were more interested in scouting for Elk, which opens soon). It may be prudent to wear orange this time of year, although it is hard to imagine anyone being stupid enough to shoot at someone on the trail.

Passing the Forest Service road, the trail continues a short distance to the Camp Creek Trailhead, just off Cooper Ranch Road. The hunters mentioned this as a possible place to camp, but I couldn't say if it is allowed or not. There are toilets here, which make this an excellent place to stage. From here turn left as the ODT follows Cooper Ranch Road then along Mary Clark Road until it rejoins 101 near Sappho. I rode the short distance to the right down to 101 across from the beautiful Klahowya Campground along the Sol Duc North of the highway, which is unfortunately closed for the winter. Since I had arrived a bit early for the next bus Westbound towards Forks, I snuck in and took a couple of pictures. Soon after, I caught the next Westbound Clallam Transit #14 to Forks, which met up with Jefferson Transit's Olympic (Westside) Connection, which dropped me at the beautiful Kalaloch Campground, which is open year round.

To sum it up, this is one of the most beautiful trails anywhere, with easy access, a perfect surface, and no steep grades. It just doesn't get any better!

Absolutely beautiful - will be 5 stars when complete

Just to give a report on this section, which I rode yesterday West to East. A buddy and I caught the #14 Forks bus out of PA, and the driver dropped us at the West trailhead, just a ways West of the Sol Duc Road access, on the North side of the highway. A short climb then gradual descent through beautiful forest and we reached the Sol Duc Road TH, followed by another brief climb before a gradual descent towards the lake. The paved section is absolutely beautiful, one of my favorite trails anywhere. Due to a recent wind storm, there was a lot of blow-down, including a number of trees fully blocking the path. We cleared most of them, but there were a couple we left, partly because we were on a time schedule, and partly because they were big. So be prepared to stop and carry your bike over them. There are lots of branches scattered along the trail as well, which could cause flat tires. But like I said, the paved section of trail is absolutely amazing, and well worth making the trip.

Moving on to the 3+ miles of non paved single track - this section is a whole different story, although it too is very beautiful and certainly worth the effort. But be advised it WILL take some effort. Along with the primitive tunnel bypass sections, there are a number of slide areas, at least one of which required carrying our bikes through a section of boulders and loose rock. This would not have been so bad, but I was carrying loaded panniers, and heavy bike syndrome soon made this section a bit of work. Also, in many of the sections that this trail is rideable, there are a lot of large roots and loose rock, making this a bumpy ride, even on my 29er. There are some excellent sections of smooth single track, but they don't last as long as you would hope. We were trying to make good time here in order to catch a certain bus, because my buddy had somewhere to be - BAD idea! Take the time to enjoy this one, and be advised that heavy bikes will require some effort to get through. Having said that, it is a beautiful trail that is passable, but expect to spend some time carrying and/or pushing your bike. Road bikes will probably not get to do much extended riding in this section. But given the choice of working my way through here vs riding the south side, I would choose this route every time!

One possible alternative to this route is something I have not researched, but . . . Along the Western portion of the lake, we noticed a dirt/gravel road below us - I assume it is accessed off 101 near Fairholm. It went quite a ways, quite possibly to a picnic area which can be accessed from the paved section of trail. This COULD provide an easier way to enjoy the paved section of trail while avoiding any hike-a-bike terrain. But this is only speculation on my part. Also, you would have to already be on the west end of the lake, so it is really not a solution for those wanting to get around the lake without having to ride on the highway.

Just over a quarter mile from the Lyre River trailhead, we encountered full width trail with a beautiful crushed gravel surface - they just completed this section, and it is really great - my only complaint is that there isn't more of it :). Patience is a virtue, and I understand this is a work in progress. I can't wait until they get this extended over to the paved section - when that happens this will be a world class trail for all users!

Continuing on, we headed down East Beach road towards 101, where we were to catch a bus. Having long since given up on our original schedule and stopped in several places to admire the views, we were now in a tight race to catch the next bus heading East. For some reason I had expected this road to be flat. It is not. Be prepared for elevation changes of 100 - 200' along a rolling 3.5 miles or so from the trailhead. We missed our bus :-[ Fortunately, there was another one an hour later, which we did catch.

To sum it up, I would make this ride again in a heartbeat, but I would prefer to do it without a loaded bike. The views are spectacular, and the forest is amazingly beautiful, especially this time of year. But plan to take your time with it, especially through the uncompleted section. Even on the paved section, be prepared for the occasional stop to get over fallen trees, and do be on the lookout for fallen branches. I would imagine this will be all cleaned up next spring, but with winter windstorms, it will be hard to keep the whole thing clear. Overall, I give this trail better than 4 stars, with it getting a perfect 5 on completion.

Current information

The previous review is out of date. For current information go to OlympicDiscoveryTrail.com

Port Angeles Waterfront Trail

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.

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

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

New Addition to Olympic Discovery Trail

The numbers in [brackets] refer to the images posted herewith.
A few days ago, I explored the new section of the Olympic Discovery Trail from S. Discovery Road near the Golf Course to Milo Curry Trailhead near Four Corners. Even the extremely useful web site at
has not yet added this most recent addition as existing. Their map still shows it in green (planned).
Last year when I crossed S. Discovery Rd., there was survey tape hanging in the bushes and further progress was stopped by a TRAIL CLOSED sign (see photo No. 12 of last year's report dated June 2012). Now there is a beautiful new trail [1] with three nice sitting benches [2] (for those of us who want to rest while climbing up the gentle grade of the trail). The surface of the trail is the same small-grain crushed rock as used on the other sections of the trail further north. It is well packed and very easy to ride on, even with a city bike.
The addition adds only about one mile. Currently the trail ends where it crosses S. Discovery Rd. again near Milo Curry Rd. and Four Corners. There is a parking lot with space for about 8 cars and a port-a-potty [3]. On the other side of the road, where the trail hopefully will continue one of these days, one is greeted with a NO TRESPASSING sign [4]. I did not get my GPS to properly mark this waypoint, but my MapCard map shows it as N48.04964;W-122.82618. Starting June 24, 2013, and continuing through July 8, 2013, this section of trail and parking will be closed while they are enlarging the parking lot [5].

Bike Week in Port Angeles August 2012

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.

Port Angeles to end of Lake Crescent

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. There is about a 4 mile section at lake crescent that is not complete and the trail is mountain bike trail only. The Finished parts are awesome, we did enjoy our rides on those, however, a better descriptive is in order as of this date to prevent any disgruntled riders! The ODT from Sequim stops in Port Angeles almost at the Coho ferry. So we parked close to the end of that section to see how the connecting trails/roads work to get to Lake Crescent. Parking in P.A. is difficult, having a lot of pay spots. We moved further towards the hook and found free parking along the street. On the map, it has you following the P.A. Waterfront trail, leading you to believe you are on a well kept bicycle trail. However, from downtown, it is mainly street side with a little wider 'bike' path at the side of the street as you near the hook. There is nothing on the route at this section which lets you know you are on shared path with the ODT. In fact, we went past Hill street (the road connector to the Elwha section) the first time and realized we were headed out on the hook and turned back. We found Hill street and climbed (17% grade up?) to the top where you switch to 4th, then Milwaukee which leads to the ODT at the end. This was marked well. At this point the trail is nice. It shares the dirt rail grade with a access road after a bit and back to trail. This is a recent completion which is very nice. The trail is very freshly under construction further down past the Airfield where it joins Milwaukee again. Well done and from then on you have beautiful paved path to the Elwa bridge. There is no trail after the bridge so we decided to go back to the truck giving us 14 miles and drive to where we stopped and continue to where we could find the trail again. Well, if you are going to do the ODT, you have choices at this point. The road is heavily used by traffic so it's quiet but there are some very narrow points with no shoulder. Pick your poison, more heavily populated roads or less populated but minimal to no shoulder. We followed the recommended path to the Spruce RR Trail and were immediately confronted with the reality that this trail cannot be used by trikes or road bikes. We took pictures of the east end of trail for you to see what we mean. So, we got in the car and decided to take the bike and find the west starting point and come back in and see how far the trail is completed. Well, this is tricky as well. After rounding the lake, we followed a sign that said spruce RR trailhead and following a very primitive road over 4 miles only to find that this leads to another dirt trail that is not trike/road bike friendly. We did see portions of the paved trail from the road at times so we knew we didn't find the west end so we went back out of the road and continued up Hwy 101 to try and find the beginning of the trail. Well, we came to Sol-duc road and on the side of the road was rudimentary pull out and a paved trail that lead down into the woods. No sign. We asked someone who rode up out of the trail if it was the ODT, they said no it was the spruce RR trail. (good enough for me). Our time was limited, we have a reservation for the P.T. Ferry to get back to whidbey so we broke the speed limit on the trail so we could give an accurate scouting report. This portion of the trail is awesome! Starting where we did however, has us going very very fast down the grade, and very very slow coming back up the grade! This portion of the trail was however about a 12 1/2 mile round trip so a decent portion completed (6+ miles). new Trestles across, etc. This leaves about a 4 miles section of the lake not completed. We loved the sections we were able to bike but don't be deceived. You cannot take this route successfully on a road bike or trike recumbent! To take the 7 and 6 mile completed sections however for a day ride is well worth it.

Olympic Discovery Trail East - Sound and Bay Section (= Larry Scott Memorial Trail; Jefferson County)

Although the web site at http://www.olympicdiscoverytrail.com/trail_maps/pt_townsend.html already contains a detailed description of this trail, 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 East - Sound and Bay Section (= Larry Scott Memorial Trail) between the Port Townsend Marina and S. Discovery Rd.
I accessed the trail at Fredericks Rd. close to where it crosses under Highway 20 and then traveled in both directions to the end of trail. Starting at the bus stop at Fredericks Rd. (0.0) {+48.08955; -122.81612} [1] is not a good idea because there is barely enough parking space for one car and the bus stop is a NO PARKING zone. I should have started at the Cape George Rd. trail head, which has ample parking. I biked the trail from Fredericks St. in both directions.
Going towards Port Townsend first, at (0.23) {+48.09162; -122.81581} [2] I came to the underpass under Highway 20 where four paved trail stubs go in four different directions, but only the one going to Port Townsend was marked by a directional sign. The trail is otherwise well marked with trail signs, but destination of the other three trails branching off at this crossing should be marked as well. This is the only short section where the Larry Scott Memorial Trail is paved. The rest of the trail in both directions has a soft surface covered with a very small (<1/8 inch) grade of well-packed packed crushed rock, smaller than crushed rock used at many other rails-to-trails conversions. This is a nice, smooth surface that can be traveled even with a street bike (but not with in-line skates as suggested on the R-t-T-C web site!). At (0.96) {+48.09886; -122.81143} [3] the trail crosses Mill Rd. and at (1.59) {+48.09688; -122.79904} the trail crosses Thomas St. next to the Port Townsend paper mill [4] with its rising steam plumes that are visible from far away. All these crossings are well marked. The next section of the trail offers scenic views out over Port Townsend Bay as the trail travels below a flower-covered bluff [5] and past a rusted iron sculpture "Leafwing" [6]. It ends (begins, depending on which direction you are traveling) at (2.8) next to a shipyard and marina where there is a parking area, mile marker 0.0 [7] {+48.10587; -122.77901} and permanent toilet facilities. I happened to be there on the weekend when the Jefferson County Trails Coalition [8] and the Back Country Horsemen of Washington had set up tents along the trail to celebrate "Longest Day of Trails" and to inform the trail users about their activities. This is where the Jefferson County Trails Coalition people had their tent and accepted donations for further improvement and expansion of the trail.
Traveling from Fredericks Rd. in the other direction, going south, I reset my odometer for a another set of distance measurements. One can cross Highway 20 (a very dangerous undertaking) and pick up the trail [9] opposite from the bus stop, or follow the paved section of trail to the underpass and then make two left turns (a safer route). The southbound trail travels through mostly flat farm land with many horse barns. At (1.13) {+48.09133; -122.83817} [10] is the Cape George Rd. trail head with ample parking, a port-a-potty, a water faucet and a bulletin board with a trail map. Just short of Douglas Way, the old, now overgrown RR grade is blocked by a gate and PRIVATE PROPERTY signs [11] and the trail veers to the left to detour around the parcel that the county was not able to acquire for trail construction. The trail entered Douglas Way where there were no signs indicating in which direction it continues {+48.06778; -122.83944}. Following Douglas Way to the right is the right choice. At the corner of Douglas Way and S. Discovery Rd. the trail became a narrow mountain bike trail as it paralleled S. Discovery Rd. before eventually crossing it at (3.55) {+48.06437; -122.83732}. The trail crossed S. Discovery Rd., but on the other side the trail was blocked by a TRAIL CLOSED sign [12]. There was survey tape strung all over the trees to mark the area to be cleared for future trail construction. We'll have to come back in a year from now and explore the new trail section going south toward the golf course and eventually all the way to Milo Curry Rd. and Four Corners.
If you time it right, you may see native rhododendron blooming along the trail [13].
Nearby overnight camping opportunities are at Fort Townsend State Park and Fort Worden State Park.

Olympic Discovery Trail Starting at Blyn

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.

TRIKES ON THE TRAIL - The trail around Sequim

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)!


5-28-11 on the Olympic Discovery 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 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)!

Pics of the trail can be seen @ NODT Marathon site

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.

TRAILBEAR WONDERS - Who will discover the Olympic Discovery Trail?


Pt. Angeles, WA


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.


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,


Going blind looking at trails on Google Earth

Adventure section of the ODT.

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.

Great one-way ride

"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

"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.

Outstanding trail

"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."

Not on Railroad Right-of-Way

"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."

A Hodge-Podge

"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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Discover History on the Trail

Sequim Opera House

When businessman Charles Franklin Seal built this second-floor opera house in 1907, Sequim, Washington commercial district was only 15 years old....

Trail: Olympic Discovery Trail
State: WA
Arts, Entertainment & Sports Railroads Ways of Living Women's History
Cheechmahan Trail

Bike, walk or drive between the 18 signs bearing stories about the history of the S’Klallam people, who have lived on these lands for thousands of...

Trail: Great American Rail-Trail
State: WA
Native American History Nature & Environmental Management Politics, Policy & Justice
Lake Pleasant Company Town

Here in Beaver, Washington, where West Lake Pleasant Road branches away from U.S. Highway 101, imagine that a sawmill whirs to your right and, on...

Trail: Great American Rail-Trail
State: WA
Architecture Commerce, Economy & Work Military & War Mining & Logging Railroads
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Discovering America: Reconnecting People and Places

The Great American Rail-Trail promises an all-new American experience. Through 12 states and the District of Columbia, the trail will directly serve nearly 50 million people within 50 miles of the route. Across the nation—and the world—only the limits of imagination will limit its use.

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