With a park around every bend, the adventurous family has their work cut out for them in Hood Canal. Explore the nooks and crannies of the protected forests of Skokomish Park, gather armloads of shellfish on the beaches of Potlatch State Park, or have a barbecue and kick the soccer ball around Walker park. Just don't forget the camera!
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North Mason County, WA | (360) 565-3130
With nearly one million acres, Olympic encompasses several distinctly different ecosystems and protects a rich mosaic of natural and cultural history. Untamed rivers flow from glacier-capped peaks through valleys of old-growth forests, waves crash against a shoreline rich with life, and only trails traverse the vast interior of this internationally recognized wilderness. Come explore!
7211 N Lake Cushman Road, Hoodsport, WA 98548 | (360) 877-5760
Seven miles northwest of Hoodsport, along Lake Cushman Road. Enjoy picnicking, boating, water skiing, hiking, camping and fishing. The Olympic National Park is convenient to the campground so all levels of hikes are available.
21020 N US Highway 101, Shelton, WA 98584 | (360) 877-5361
57-acre camping park with 5,700-feet of saltwater shoreline on Hood Canal. The park's beautiful grounds are home to a variety of activities, from interpretive programs for kids to boating and shellfish harvesting.
3151 WA State Route 300, Belfair, WA 98528 | (360) 275-0668
Belfair State Park is a 65-acre, year-round camping park on 3,720 feet of saltwater shoreline at the southern end of Hood Canal in western Washington. It is noted for its saltwater tide flats, wetlands with wind-blown beach grasses and pleasant areas for beach walking and saltwater swimming.
22871 WA State Route 3, Belfair, WA 98528 | (360) 275-4898
The refuge is home to over two miles of interpretive walking trails within 139 acres of protected salt marsh and estuary wetlands at the mouth of the Union River in Belfair. Trails are open every day from dawn to dusk, are wheelchair and stroller accessible. Trails go through a Washington Fish and Wildlife sanctuary: no dogs or domestic animals are permitted on the trails.
1291 W Ford Road, Matlock, WA 98560
Open March-September, large covered shelter, barbecue grills, vault toilets, wooden arch bridge over Decker Creek, nature trails good area for family reunions, group picnics, weddings, or receptions. Shelter reservations highly recommended.
18931 NE North Shore Road, Tahuya
Open year round, covered gazebo, picnic areas, sani-can, boat launch for hand-carry boat/kayak or other small watercraft, limited parking on left hand side of road, additional parking in dirt lot on right just before main access gate. Next to Rendsland Creek State of Washington shellfish beach (oyster enhanced). Be sure to check Washington State Shellfish Regulations before harvesting.
Shelton, WA 98584
McMicken Island State Park is an 11.5 acre marine park with 1,661 feet of saltwater shoreline. It is situated in the beautiful South Puget Sound and features a pristine cove to set anchor. Visitors can enjoy the many hiking trails, viewing an active bald eagle nest and shellfish harvesting. The shellfish population is abundant and open to shellfish harvesters year round. The park is open 6:30am to dusk year round for day use. Moorage buoys are available for overnight stays.
South Shore, Shelton
Hope Island State Park is a 106-acre marine camping park on the western side of the state in Mason County, Puget Sound. This quiet island is reachable only by boat. Covered with old-growth forests and saltwater marshes, the park features a beach one-and-a-half miles long. Summer: 6am-dusk. Winter: 8am-dusk. Camping: Check-in time 2:30pm. Check-out time 1pm. Quiet hours: 10pm-6:30am.
391 Wingert Road, Shelton, WA 98584 | (360) 426-9226
Jarrell Cove State Park is a 43-acre marine camping park with 3,500-feet of saltwater shoreline on the northwest end of Harstine Island in south Puget Sound. The forested island park is accessible by road and bridge and is off the beaten path. Most visitors arrive by boat. The park has campsites near the docks, as well as on rolling, grassy areas.
12190 WA State Route 106, Union, WA 98592 | (360) 275-2222
Twanoh State Park, situated on the shoreline of Hood Canal, features one of the warmest saltwater beaches in Washington state. This is because Hood Canal is one of the warmest saltwater bodies in Puget Sound. The 182-acre marine camping park has 3,167 feet of saltwater shoreline.
3291 Pickering Road, Shelton, WA 98584
Latimer’s Landing is a Mason County Park featuring a recently renovated boat launch and dock that provides easy access to Pickering Passage, Puget Sound and beyond. In 2008, Mason County renovated the facilities by building a new boat ramp, extending the ramp for better use at low tides.
110 Wallace Kneeland Boulevard, Shelton, WA 98584
Open year round (closed during Shelton School District school hours except youth with parent or guardian and adults). Portable toilet, skate board ramps, picnic tables, recreational & competitive skate boarding & biking.
1570 E Agate Bay Road, Shelton, WA 98584
Open year round, open space with limited paths and trails, and access to Melaney Creek and Oakland Bay. Site of Malaney historical homestead and annual native plant workshop sponsored by Mason Conservation District and Capital Land Trust.
E Sunset Road, Shelton, WA 98584
The 36-acre property includes impressive uplands with stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and great potential for wooded trails and picnic areas.
50 E Phillips Lake Loop Road, Shelton, WA 98584
Open year round daylight to dusk, small picnic area, passive day use area, adjacent to State of Washington boat launch with vault toilets.
3674 N Shelton Springs Road, Shelton, WA 98584
The #1 disc golf course in Washington State. This course has two sets of pads RED for a casual round and BLACK (PDGA Blue) to test your skill. With 3 par fours and 3 par fives the course clocks in almost 8000ft of fairway. Playing in and out of nearby power lines, plus a few generous wooded fairways for being such a woodsy course, allows you to pull out the big drivers on quite a few holes.
SW Old Clifton Road, Belfair, WA 98367
Open year round, picnic tables, vault toilet, vehicle parking, water access, wildlife viewing, picnics. Good place for leisurely walk and relaxation.
Camp Spillman, Belfair, WA 98528
23,000-acre working forest located on the southeastern portion of the Hood Canal west of Belfair in Mason County. Year-round destination, offers recreation opportunities for a variety of activities, including off-road vehicle riding (ORV), horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, camping and other uses. Tahuya is primarily a destination area for ORV riders.
18560 WA State Route 3, Allyn, WA 98524
Dock, launch ramps, pumpout station, playground, restrooms, gazebo for events, restaurants, shopping, phone, post office, liquor store, groceries, mini-mart, gifts, souvenirs, bus service, sandy beach access to water, restroom, picnic area, interpretive, historic signage, ADA compliant, nightly & winter moorage, electrical hookups.
241 N Foothills Park Road, Hoodsport, 98548
March – September, 9 am to dusk, children’s play area, open field area, restrooms, on-site caretaker, good site for family or business picnic and field games, reservations recommended.
61 E Port Townsend Street, Union 98592
Open March – September with a small covered shelter, restrooms, day use picnic area, children’s play area, one small baseball/softball field, small two-hoop basketball court, good site for group picnics, birthday parties, reunions, etc. Shelter reservations recommended.
21020 N US Highway 101, Shelton, 98584
57-acre camping park with 5,700 feet of saltwater shoreline on Hood Canal. The park's beautiful grounds are home to a variety of activities, from interpretive programs for kids to boating and shellfish harvesting. Summer:8 am to dusk. Winter: 8 am to dusk. Camping: Check-in time, 2:30 pm, check-out time, 1 pm, quiet hours: 10 pm to 6:30 am.
31281 US Highway 101, Lilliwaup, WA 98555
Flat beach exposed when tide is out, walking as far as you can see. Loads of driftwood, unusual rocks, warm enough for swimming in summer. Mason County’s best-kept secret beach. Pull off areas across from Eagle Creek Saloon.
Lilliwaup, WA 98548
Stairway to beach at point on north opening of Lilliwaup Bay. Plenty of eagles and osprey, overnight RV camping permitted, no restrooms, pull off just north of Lilliwaup.
Ingvald J Gronvold Park, US Highway 101, Hoodsport, 98548 | (360) 877-9350
Public boat dock with beach access. Starfish and crabs visible at low tide. Picnic table and restrooms nearby. Close to dining, grocery, and boutique shopping. Beach Access Parking parking available on Highway 101.
Itinerary #8: Spring Adventuring
There is a host of romantic notions about staying inside all winter, putting on fuzzy socks against the cold, and hibernating beneath a blanket. Instead of letting a little rain stop us from getting after it, we choose adventures that are even better with a little atmosphere!
Picture this: the full moon slowly rises over the placid Hood Canal, illuminating the rugged Olympic Mountains as you slowly exhale and relax into your tree pose.
The fall colors on Hood Canal are heralding the close of summer. Time to head to the hills to embrace the much needed rains in the Olympic National Park as the hills and valleys go back to the Technicolor spectrum of green.
The traditions of clam digging and oyster harvesting run deeply through the historical veins of the Olympic Peninsula. Check out this easy itinerary from Shelton to Oakland Bay on South Puget Sound’s Hammersley Inlet.
Itinerary #6: Waterfall Road Trip
Cascading waterfalls tucked into hidden nooks are simply and quintessentially Hood Canal. Sure, we love summer, but winter is truly a marvel in our corner of the world. We daresay we prefer it when it comes to admiring the majestic cascades tumbling from the woods.
Tromping through the park and the surrounding areas is admittedly our favorite thing to do, but sometimes asking for directions can be tricky. Especially when we slip up and ask for a “geo-duck” (geoduck). Reduce your noob status and read on to ensure that when you have to flag a local down, you don’t get a suppressed giggle along with directions.
An off-the-grid woodsy adventure—with the proper gear and safety precautions—makes for a truly memorable experience. Here are our recommendations for five must-have accessories to make your ONP adventure one for the books.
Even someone as determined as John Muir couldn’t have poked around every nook in the 876,447 acres of this boundless wilderness haven. Here are our 5 reasons why you can’t afford to miss it—especially if you’re a Seattleite.
Though there are many factors that come together to make a good photographer—gear, dedication, understanding of theory, etc.—the one elusive quality that boosts George Stenberg’s craft into the upper echelon is timing.
A weekend warrior is a 21st century beast whose population seems to be exponentially growing. As the “rolley chair blues” epidemic proliferates across the Pacific Northwest, so does the drive to combat it with an epic 48-hour adventure.