A boost for public access to the Olympic Peninsula’s Discovery Trail

forested area near Crescent Lake on the Olympic Peninsula
A forested area near Crescent Lake on the Olympic Peninsula where sections of the Discovery Trail were recently acquired by DNR in a large land exchange with a private timber company. Photo: DNR.

A recently completed 14,000-acre land exchange — the Foothills Exchange — between DNR and a private timber company brings a few more sections of the popular Olympic Discovery Trail route under public ownership. The sections of the trail transferred to DNR ownership are northeast of Crescent Lake, and also known as the ‘Adventure Route’ portion of the trail. Once completed, the Olympic Discovery Trail will provide 130 miles of non-motorized trail between the Quileute tribe’s reservation in LaPush on the Washington coast and downtown Port Townsend.

Land Exchange Details

The land exchange authorized this summer by the state’s Board of Natural Resources allowed DNR to transfer approximately 5,000 acres of State Common School and State Forest Land Trust properties in Clallam and Grays Harbor counties to Green Crow Inc., in exchange for just over 9,000 acres of equally valued properties the timber company had managed in Clallam, Jefferson and Mason counties. DNR also is purchasing 247 acres of Green Crow property near Port Angeles in Clallam County.

While the Discovery Trail acquisition is a clear bonus for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, linking up parcels and managing them as a unified forest block helps DNR to carry out its sustainable management goals across a broader landscape.

DNR will manage the acquired properties as a working forest while sustaining the properties’ forest biodiversity, habitat protection, open space, public access, and clean air and water qualities. Revenue produced by active management of working forests on state trust lands like these supports public school construction statewide as well as state universities, public libraries, fire districts, emergency management services and other vital government programs.

And it’s another place to add to your list for future bird watching, hiking, fishing, trail riding, hunting, and camping excursions.

Find more information and a links to maps of the forestland parcels were exchanged.

View photos of the trail on the Peninsula Trails Coalition Facebook page

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