Calling All Hiking, Biking & History Buffs

Olympic Discovery Trail Route Update

If you haven’t been on the ODT recently, or EVER, now’s the time to explore this rails-to-trails route from Port Townsend to La Push, WA. With almost 79 miles of the anticipated 130-mile trail, new segments recently have been completed. And, they are highlights of the trail.

 
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The original railroad tunnel (right) and the Olympic Discovery Trail construction (left)

The Spruce Railroad Trail section around Lake Crescent was built in 1918 so Sitka spruce for the construction of World War I biplanes could easily be transported from the woods via the - Deep breath in! - Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. The war ended before the trees could be used, but the railroad still was used to transport logs until 1951. Once completed in 2019, the Spruce Railroad Trail will be a safe alternative to avoid the traffic hazards of U.S. Highway 101 around lake’s southern shore.

 

Walkers and dogs enjoy the new McFee Tunnel

Bicyclists emerging from the 450-foot tunnel

  SThe Spruce Railroad Trail half-mile trail segment leading to and through the century-old McFee Tunnel which was blasted during World War I on the north shore of Lake Crescent, reopened to users of the trail this summer, 2017.

 

Next year, crews will restore the trail west of the McFee Tunnel and rehabilitate the shorter Daley-Rankin Tunnel to the west.

 

There are completed sections of the Olympic Discovery Trail west of the Spruce Railroad Trail on Fairholme Hill and in the Sol Duc Valley. The entire length of the Spruce Railroad Trail is scheduled to be paved in 2019.

  Also completed on the Olympic Discovery Trail in mid-May this year was the reconstruction of the 210-foot-long bridge at Sequim Bay State Park. The new bridge was one of 15 state parks construction projects to remove fish barriers. The stream which now flows 50 feet below, has been returned to it's natural state and the return of salmon is anticipated in the coming years.

The new bridge allows for sweeping views of the stream below

 

Native vegetation and woody debris has been replaced in the stream

                    What else is new with the trail? The Olympic Discovery Trail just launched a new website with an interactive map to stay up-to-date on all the trail improvements. Check out the new interactive map and learn about local walking, running and biking groups to join. Learn about all the current and future projects and ways to get involved. Be sure to like and follow the trail's Facebook page and share your own photos! Events on and in-support of the trail happening this September: Sept 16: Great Olympic Adventure Trail (GOAT) Run Sept 23: The Big Hurt, 4-Leg Race Sept 23: 17th Annual Dungeness River Festival at Railroad Bridge Park

The new Dungeness Bridge Trestle which was completed March 2016 after storms collapsed part of the bridge in 2015.

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