Hike Distance: 9.2 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1600.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 529 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 209460 feet
The Willapa Hills Rails-to-Trails Trail is about 56 miles long, and we’ve been working on hiking different sections, to eventually complete it some day. It was a beautiful day so we drove the almost two hours to get to a new section of the trail.
We started our hike at about mileage marker 33. We hiked west and connected up with a previous hike, and this was uneventful. In fact, this short 1.5 mile section is rather close to the Hwy, and we probably won’t come here again. That said, we needed to hike it just once to say it was completed. haha So we turned around and hiked back east on the trail. We passed where our car was parked (in a pullout along Hwy 6 in WA state), and continued east to try and complete another section.
About a half mile past our car we came to a train trestle where the trail was closed!!! What the heck was this? I didn’t do my homework and found out later that there were two trestles east of here that were never improved, and were unsafe to go upon. So we ended this section of our hike at this first unimproved trestle. 😦
So…. we drove to the closest section of the Willapa Hills Trail that was east of the unimproved trestle, and then started hiking west. It turns out that we hiked from about mileage mark 28.5 to 31 on this next section. It turns out that the second unimproved trestle is just past mileage marker 32, so we didn’t make it there today.
This section of the trail, from mileage 28.5 to 31 was outstanding! It is mostly in the forest and veered away from Hwy 6, so road noise wasn’t an issue. We’ll definitely be back here, not only to finish, but to enjoy the solitude. We only saw one mountain biker on this section, and had a nice talk with him.
A somewhat odd day, but not totally out of the norm. I definitely need to check out the Willapa Hills trail status before heading out, and there are some sites that tell the current status of all segments of the trail.