The “Emerald Towns” are blessed with an abundance of beautiful trails to explore. Our Visitors Center staff can help direct you to hikes with breathtaking views, cascading waterfalls, scenic river hikes, pristine lakes and more!
There are a few State Parks in the area, but the majority of the hikes in the “Emerald Towns” start in the Olympic National Forest, many of these continuing into the Olympic National Park. Many of the National Forest Trails do not require a pass to hike, but some do:
Our Visitors Centers in Quilcene and Brinnon sell day passes for the National Forest ($5/day). In addition to day passes, the Quilcene Visitors Center also sells annual Forest passes ($30/year), inter-agency passes ($80/year) and senior passes ($10/lifetime, must be 62). However, we do not sell the Discover Pass. List of local vendors that do sell the Discover Pass.
Our Visitors Center staff can give you the latest scoop on local trails, but these links are also useful for planning an outing in our area:
Washington Trails Association: A valuable tool for getting up to date reports on our local trails.
Seasonal closures and natural events do affect many local trails. We suggest that you consult the Hood Canal Recreation Report (scroll down to the “Trails” section on that page) to check on local sites and facilities.
If you have any current trail or road reports, please let us know! E-mail your report to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A List of Local Hikes (imported from post page - hidden on account of incomplete trail details)
Trail lengths listed are the distance for one way only – please keep the return trip in mind!
*Mount Zion Trail: Hike through a conifer forest to the top of Mt. Zion, with scenice views along the way and around the summit. During the blooming season, there are abundant wildflowers, including many rhododendrons. The trailhead starts Northwest of Quilcene on Forest Service Road 28, via Lords Lake Loop Road.
Length: 1.8 miles Grade: 15-20% Elevation Gain: 1323 feet
Mount Walker Trail: Hike through a fir-filled forest to the top of Mt. Walker with incredible views from both the North and South viewpoints. A popular trail for viewing rhododendrons during the blooming season. This trail starts about 5 miles south of the town of Quilcene, just off of Highway 101.
Length: 2 miles Grade: up to 25% Elevation Gain: 2005 feet
Mount Townsend Trail: Hike through a conifer forest with views increasing as you reach the summit of Mt. Townsend. Stunning views from the top and a popular spot for viewing wildflowers dotting the alpine meadows. The trail starts northwest of Quilcene off Forest Service Road 27, via Penny Creek Road.
Lower Trailhead (FS Road #2760)- Length: 5.3 miles Grade: 20% Elevation Gain: 3350 feet
Upper Trailhead (FS Road #27-190)- Length: 4.1 miles Grade: 20% Elevation Gain: 2950 feet
*Lower Big Quilcene Trail: Walk along a forest trail along the Big Quilcene River. Since this is a lowland trail, not too far off the highway, access is generally pretty good year round. Trail starts southwest of Quilcene, on the 080 spur, off Forest Service Road 27, via Penny Creek Road.
Length: 6.2 miles Grade: 10-15% Elevation Gain: 1300 feet
*Upper Big Quilcene Trail: Start alongside the Big Quilcene River and then head up towards Marmot Pass for spectacular views. The trailhead is located 17 miles from Quilcene on Forest Service Road #2750, off Forest Service Road 27, via Penny Creek Road.
Length: 5.3 miles Grade: 30% max Elevation Gain: 3500 feet
Tunnel Creek Trail: Stroll beside Tunnel Creek, climb up to Harrison Lake and then to the ridge for wonderful views. It is also possible to continue down to the Dosewallips Road. The trailhead is located 12 miles south of Quilcene on Forest Service Road #2740, off Forest Serice Road 27, via Penny Creek Road.
Length: 4.7 Grade: 20% Elevation Gain:
Snow Creek Trail
*Ranger Hole Trail
Murhut Falls Trail