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Exploring the Olympic Discovery Trail in Washington State

The Olympic Discovery Trail is a multi-use recreational trail located on the Northern Coast of Washington State. The trail, when completed, will span over 135 miles long. Currently, the trail is officially 92 miles, and is used for various activities such as walking, running and cycling. This trail is easily accessible from our ferry terminal in Port Angeles and is surrounded by luscious forests, rivers, the coastline and mountains. If you are a nature lover or outdoor enthusiast, this trail is for you! The Olympic Discovery Trail is designed to be accessible and accommodating for everyone.

Map of the Olympic Discovery Trail

Map of the Olympic Discovery Trail. Credit: The Olympic Discovery Trail. 

The Olympic Discovery Trail is a public trail that is maintained by local organizations, volunteers and government agencies to provide a recreational resource for the community and visitors. The construction of the trail has spanned over the past 35 years, with 75% of the trail now complete. 

Aerial View of the Olympic Discovery Trail.

As you travel along the trail, you will have a chance to visit quaint towns on the Olympic Peninsula such as Port Townsend, Sequim, Port Angeles and Forks. Plus, if you’re wanting to spend a dreamy night under the stars, you’re in luck! The Olympic Discovery Trail conveniently passes through numerous camping options, including National Park, State, and County campgrounds!

Beyond natural beauty, the trail also offers an insightful journey on the history of the area. Along the way you will come across pieces of the past that tell stories of Indigenous Peoples. One notable historical site along the trail is the Elwha River Dam removal. The restoration project not only revitalizes the environment but also honors the cultural significance of the trip.


Forested Pathway of the Olympic Discovery Trail.

The trails' well-maintained surfaces make it accessible for diverse activities, such as walking, biking, running, rollerblading and horseback riding in some sections. There are numerous access points along the trail allowing you to choose a section that matches your desired level of challenge. The trail offers an opportunity to cover longer distances and explore the Olympic Peninsula, especially if you are traveling by bike. If you're in need of a place to rest during your adventure, there are also quiet areas to stop throughout the trail to enjoy a sweet picnic with your family or friends. 

Lake Crescent

Walkway on Lake Crescent. 

Top Spots Along the Olympic Discovery Trail
Port Angeles: No surprises here! As the trail winds through Port Angeles, it provides easy access to the town’s vibrant downtown area, local amenities, and of course the Black Ball terminal.
Elwha River Valley: The Elwha River section of the trails offers stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and the Elwha River. Be sure to visit the Elwha River Dam Removal site, which has led to the restoration of the river’s ecosystem.
Lake Crescent: The trail passes along the northern shore of Lake Crescent, one of the most picturesque spots on the Olympic Peninsula. You can take a break, go for a swim, or enjoy the stunning scenery.
Sol Duc Valley: This section of the trail offers access to Sol Duc Hot Springs and Sol Duc Falls, a beautiful waterfall in Olympic National Park.
Forks: The town of Forks is famous for its connection to the “Twilight” book and movie series, and it’s a good place to stop for refreshments and explore the nearby natural beauty, including the Hoh Rainforest.
La Push: Near the western end of the trail, you can visit the coastal community of La Push, known for its stunning beaches and sea stacks.

Whether you’re up for excitement, quiet thinking, spending time with friends or just a break from the everyday routine, the Olympic Discovery Trail is all that and more! The adventure goes beyond the trail itself and it gives us a reminder that there's more to explore, both in the world around us and within ourselves!


Cycling on the Olympic Discovery Trail.

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