Explore the Olympic Discovery Trail
Come discover the sights along Washington’s Olympic Discovery Trail. The 130-mile long public path crosses the Olympic Peninsula, from the Victorian seaport of Port Townsend to the pristine shores of the Pacific at La Push.
Myriad hiking trails and walking paths crisscross Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Few are as long or storied, however, as the Olympic Discovery Trail.
And it all started in 1988 … or maybe I should say 1914?
A Little History
The genesis of the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) is an abandoned and historic railroad corridor. Trains once linked the peninsula to the mainland, hauling both passengers and raw materials. Over the years, however, other methods of transportation eclipsed the rail lines and, by 1985, the gig was up.
Luckily, three enterprising and forward thinking biking enthusiasts saw potential in the old rail corridor. They formed the Peninsula Trails Coalition (PTC) and immediately began working towards creating the Olympic Discovery Trail.
130 miles is a daunting distance, however, and the railroad was already removing track and selling off their right of way. Consequently, the ODT is a work in progress with only 80 miles complete. Despite that, it is possible to travel the trail’s full length via a combination of trail segments and existing roads.
Along the Olympic Discovery Trail
The ODT is designed for foot, horseback, and bicycle traffic. Dogs are permitted but should be controlled and cleaned up after.
The trail runs the gamut of all the Peninsula has to offer, winding through fields and parks, past farms and beaches, and over rivers, ravines, and historic railroad trestles. The trail is composed of four distinct sections: the East End, East Central, West Central, and West End.
The East End starts off in Port Townsend, the West End at La Push – just 15 minutes down the road from Manitou Lodge. In fact, the West End of the trail passes right by our Olympic Peninsula lodging, along La Push Road!
The West End or Forest & Ocean section of the ODT is just under 42 miles long. Most of this section of the trail runs alongside two-lane roadways before arriving at First Beach and LaPush. There are also side trails near the end that lead to Third and Second Beaches.
You can download the ODT West Map here.
There’s no need to stick to just one portion of the trail, however. Not whenthere’s so much to see! Other trail sections lead past highlights like Lake Crescent, the Port Angeles City Pier, Elwha River, Jamestown S’Klallam campus, Port Townsend, and Discovery Bay, to name just a few.
Visit the Olympic Discovery Trail website for more information.
- The Olympic Adventure Trail – Get Out On the OAT
- Travel The Washington Whale Trail
- Explore the Olympic Discovery Trail
- Drive the Olympic Peninsula Loop
- Manitou Lodge Camping in Forks Washington
- February 2021 (2)
- January 2021 (2)
- December 2020 (2)
- November 2020 (2)
- October 2020 (2)
- September 2020 (2)
- August 2020 (2)
- July 2020 (2)
- June 2020 (2)
- May 2020 (1)
- April 2020 (1)
- March 2020 (2)
- February 2020 (2)
- January 2020 (2)
- December 2019 (2)
- November 2019 (2)
- October 2019 (2)
- September 2019 (2)
- August 2019 (2)
- July 2019 (2)
- June 2019 (2)
- May 2019 (2)
- April 2019 (2)
- February 2017 (2)
- July 2015 (1)
- September 2014 (1)
- May 2014 (1)
- September 2013 (1)
- July 2013 (1)
- May 2013 (2)
- September 2012 (2)