Guided hike planned along Hoko River

State Parks offer free entry

With New Year’s Day the first fee-free day of 2022 at all Washington State Parks, one of them will be the setting for a guided hike along the Little Hoko River.

“It’s a long, flat, beautiful walk, even in the rain or the snow,” said Nancy Messmer, who with her husband Roy Morris will guide the outing at noon Saturday.

To reach the trail, take state Highway 112 west of Clallam Bay and then drive south on Hoko-Ozette Road. Just past Cowan Heritage area, cross the Little Hoko River bridge and park at the gate.

Be sure to take the detour as you enter Clallam Bay to bypass the slide area, Messmer noted. For more information, phone 360-963-2442.

“The walk is happening rain or shine, so bring some rain gear,” she added.

As for distance, “people make it what they want. It could be up to a mile,” Messmer said.

Hikers start out surrounded by mossy trees and ferns. The path then opens onto a pasture, where there’s a picnic table.

The plan is to have hot drinks for the people hardy enough to come out on New Year’s Day, said Messmer, who works with the Clallam Bay Sekiu Lions Club.

Five organized hikes were planned for Saturday by the Friends of Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, but on Thursday, state park ranger John Whittet called them off.

“We have icy roads and icy sidewalks that are going to thaw a bit today and then freeze back over. We don’t want to put people out on the roads” to the park, he said.

Fort Worden will still be open and free, Whittet noted, but he didn’t want to invite people, especially from out of town, to go out driving on slick highways and streets. He also didn’t want Friends of Fort Worden volunteers out leading groups in the snowy conditions.


Jefferson County Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or

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