South Fork Skokomish River Trail

Shelton, Washington

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Here is a short hike to a riverbank through old-growth forest with several attractions for children. In 1.25 miles they can reach a river with wide sand and gravel bars. On the way (if there is solitude) they can look for elk and deer; in the spring they may even see elk calves and deer fawns. Mother elk and deer shelter their babies in secret, nest-like hideaways. If you should approach a hidden fawn, the mother deer will act nonchalant, to fool you into thinking she has no fawn nearby. In contrast, a mother elk is likely to charge you to protect her calf. If you find a baby wild animal, the best policy is to leave it alone. Most likely the mother is nearby. The old trees have mossy carpets beneath them, ornamented with ferns, trilliums, and three-lobed sweet-after-death. But the drop to the river level is steep, and the climb back up will be a pull for little children. Be prepared to encounter mountain bikers who love this trail, too.
Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades

by Joan Burton (The Mountaineers Books)

Here is a short hike to a riverbank through old-growth forest with several attractions for children. In 1.25 miles they can reach a river with wide sand and gravel bars. On the way (if there is solitude) they can look for elk and deer; in the spring they may even see elk calves and deer fawns. Mother elk and deer shelter their babies in secret, nest-like hideaways.

If you should approach a hidden fawn, the mother deer will act nonchalant, to fool you into thinking she has no fawn nearby. In contrast, a mother elk is likely to charge you to protect her calf. If you find a baby wild animal, the best policy is to leave it alone. Most likely the mother is nearby. The old trees have mossy carpets beneath them, ornamented with ferns, trilliums, and three-lobed sweet-after-death. But the drop to the river level is steep, and the climb back up will be a pull for little children. Be prepared to encounter mountain bikers who love this trail, too.

©  Joan Burton/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Shelton
Distance: 14.5
Elevation Gain: 400 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day hike or backpack
Season: April-November
Trailhead Elevation: 650 feet
Top Elevation: 1,050 feet
Local Contacts: Olympic National Forest
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 199 Mount Tebo
Driving Directions: Directions to South Fork Skokomish River Trail

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Apr 2018