The ODT Adventure Route
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The Adventure portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail runs from the west side of the Elwha River (west of Port Angeles) to the east end of Lake Crescent, where it connects with the Spruce Railroad Trail, and then continues west toward Forks and La Push.
The Olympic Discovery Trail east of Port Angeles offers a paved riding experience for all non-motorized users through pastoral settings near farm and rural residential areas. The Adventure Trail setting is quite different -- an unpaved trail wandering through forest, sometimes a mile or more from the nearest highway. A mix of unpaved single-track trail and unpaved roads, grades are seven percent or less to make it accesssible for mountain bicyclists, hikers, and horsemen. Motorized use is not allowed, though motorcycles or ATV's may be encountered on the gravel road portions. There are no toilets or camping facilities on the Adventure Trail. Be prepared to filter or purify water you collect along the way.
The route follows the east-west range of hills located between Highway 101 and Highway 112. Elevations are less than 2,000 feet, making it accessible in early spring and late fall, and is intermittantly snow-free in the winter months. The trail can be accessed from five road crossings, Highway 112 near the Elwha River, the Eden Valley Road, the Joyce Access Road, the Joyce-Piedmont Road, and the Spruce Railroad trailhead at Lake Crescent. Other road crossings on the trail are not publicly accessible.
The Adventure Route was built by independent crews from the Clallam County Sherriff's Chain Gang and volunteers sponsored by the Peninsula Trails Coalition and Clallam County, starting in 2004 and completed in 2007. Most of the work was done with hand tools, with the assistance of motorized wheelbarrows to spread gravel where needed.
Road bicyclist should not attempt this route since the tread is too rough and soft for narrow tires. Mountain bike riders with either panniers or BOB trailers should be aware that there are about a dozen motorcycle barriers designed to allow a bicycle to coast through with one pedal raised, but that bikes with panniers or trailers will need to be lifted over them.
Hikers and bicyclists in particular should be watchful for horseback riders, and alert them to your presence as soon as possible, and then wait on the downhill side of the trail for them to pass. Horses may shy dangerously when surprised by silently and rapidly approaching bicycles, so let them know you are there and slow down.