This postcard shows the original builders of the Spruce Railroad. A paddle wheel ferry boat can be seen on Lake Crescent. (Forks Forum Archives)

This postcard shows the original builders of the Spruce Railroad. A paddle wheel ferry boat can be seen on Lake Crescent. (Forks Forum Archives)

Lake Crescent Spruce Railroad Trail Project resumes today

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — The next phase of improvements to the Spruce Railroad Trail is set to begin today.

During this phase, one mile of the trail on the western end will be closed beginning at the Camp David Jr. Road trailhead. The trail will remain open for use on the eastern end for 2.7 miles — from the Lyre River Trailhead to the Daley Rankin Tunnel.

This phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of July. It includes bank stabilization, culvert installation and trail improvements matching the one-mile section completed last year from the Lyre River Trailhead to the newly restored McFee Tunnel.

“When this project is completed in 2019 there will be nearly 10 miles of universally accessible trail along the beautiful north shore of Lake Crescent,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.

“I deeply appreciate our continued collaboration with Clallam County and the Federal Highway Administration.”

Future project work will include paving the Lyre River Trailhead parking lot, restoring the Daley Rankin Tunnel, and finishing the remaining trail improvements. Paving the length of the trail will occur in the final phase. Completion of the Spruce Railroad Trail project is anticipated in late 2019.

The Spruce Railroad Trail improvements are part of a multi-year collaborative project to establish the entire 10-mile length of the trail as a universally accessible, multipurpose trail to be shared by hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and people traveling in wheelchairs.

Clallam County and Olympic National Park are jointly funding the project and have contracted with Bruch & Bruch Construction of Port Angeles to complete the work. Federal Highway Administration staff provide construction management and general contract oversight.

The Spruce Railroad Trail follows the historic railroad grade of the Spruce Railroad, built in 1918 and abandoned in 1951. When the project is completed in 2019 it will become a signature piece of the 134-mile-long Olympic Discovery Trail that will eventually connect Port Townsend to La Push — Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean.

For current trail, road and travel information, visitors should consult the park website at www.nps.gov/olym or call the recorded Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131.

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