‘Adventure Route’ spruces up Olympic Discovery Trail

PORT ANGELES — An “Adventure Route” linking two western segments of the Olympic Discovery Trail has received a $10,000 grant from Bikes Belong, a bicycle-industry advocacy group.

The route, when finished, will go from state Highway 112 at the Elwha River to the Spruce Railroad Trail 15 miles away.

That means a lot of labor, some of it by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Chain Gang, much of it by volunteers from two trails coalitions, and — come spring — a stretch by a Job Corps crew from Skagit County.

It’s this crew’s wages that the grant will pay.

Lorrie Campbell, volunteer coordinator for the Peninsula Trails Coalition, said the trail eventually will stretch from Port Townsend to LaPush. It will be the winter route around the Olympics for a Pacific Northwest Trail from Glacier National Park to the Pacific.

The eastern segment, from Port Townsend to the Elwha River, mostly follows the abandoned railroad grade of the Milwaukee Road.

West of the Elwha, however, that route is split among 42 property owners, some of whom aren’t willing to grant easements across their land.

Along DNR land

Undeterred, the trail will veer directly across Department of Natural Resources land 15 miles to Lake Crescent, where it will meet the Spruce Railroad Trail in Olympic National Park.

“We’re calling it the Adventure Route because it is really going to be great for hikers and mountain bikers and horses,” Campbell said.

The trail will be too rough and narrow — 3 feet wide in some spots — for road bikers. They can take Highway 112, Joyce-Piedmont Road and East Beach Road to reach the Spruce Railroad Trail.

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