By Rachel Monroe
Bike riding is a fun outdoor activity that provides healthy exercise and allows you to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Whether you are looking for a short, family-friendly loop or a rugged 32-mile ride, Grays Harbor features picturesque bike trails to suit every skill level.
Short and Simple
Planning a bicycle ride with the kids or getting ready for your first cycling excursion? These trails are ideal for the novice biker or for families with young children. The Westport Dune Trail, also known as the Westport Light Trail is a paved 2.5-mile loop through grassy fields and sand dunes. The trail weaves through Westhaven State Park, ending at Westport Light State Park.
Vance Creek in Elma offers a paved loop around a pond. Enjoy the quiet country setting, shady trees and peaceful water as you cycle around this spot.
Friends Landing in Montesano features a 1.7-mile paved and bridged trail around Lake Quigg. This scenic location also provides a lookout station where cyclists can pull over and gaze across the stunning lake. Bike with caution during the rainy season as the wooden bridges get slippery around turns.
Preachers Slough Trail is 3.5 miles one way. The trail is mostly gravel, but still a fun, beautiful ride for the whole family.
Forest Trails: Get Out Deep in Nature
Cycling through the forests of Grays Harbor is a breathtaking experience and a great way to enjoy the majestic splendor of Washington’s natural beauty. Get ready for some serious bike-riding as you set out on these mountain trails. The Lower and Upper West Fork Humptulips River Trails each stretch for approximately 9 miles, following the Humptulips River and weaving through old-growth timber. There are several points where you must cross the river. Use caution when crossing as there are no bridges. According to the Washington Forest Service, you will experience some incline on the trails, so be prepared. Average grade is between 0 to 10 percent, but it’s not uncommon for this part of the trail to feature as much as a 20- to 25-percent incline.
The Wynoochee Lake Shore Trail begins at the Coho campground and extends 16 miles. The trail takes you along a section of the Wynoochee River, through second and old-growth forests, past the Wynoochee Dam and Wynoochee Lake, until it concludes back at the Coho campground.
The West Fork Trail is located in the Montesano City Forest. Begin this route at the Lake Sylvia parking lot and follow the paved trail along the lake until you reach a gate leading into the forest. The West Fork Trail extends 5 miles before turning into a logging road. At this point, you can turn around or begin exploring the roads ahead. A detailed map can be found on the City of Montesano’s website.
Over the Road
There are numerous roads around the county that provide ideal bike riding opportunities. Remember to be safe while riding in traffic or along highways. Wear bright-colored or reflective clothing and avoid riding in the dark whenever possible.
The Wynoochee Valley road provides a scenic bike ride, winding through hills and farmland for more than 35 miles.
The Wishkah Valley Road also offers a rural bike-riding experience. Both the Wynoochee and Wishkah roadways have moderate to light traffic. However, they lack adequate shoulder space, so use caution when traveling along the road.
The Old Olympic Highway running through Central Park is a quiet road that is perfect for bike riding. The road runs through young forests and swampy wetlands and often features various forms of wildlife.
Cyclists may also enjoy the 18-mile loop through the Satsop Valley, located along the middle Satsop Road. This beautiful roadway stretches across forests, rivers and breathtaking farmland. If you want to get snapshots of the cranberry bogs in the Grayland area, you can bike down Highway 105.
Safety Tips and Resources
As you prepare to enjoy cycling around Grays Harbor, here are a few resources you can take advantage of:
- Read this handy tip sheet provided by The Washington State Department of Transportation on Bicycle Safety.
- Download detailed maps and guides for hiking the Lake Sylvia and the Montesano City Forest.
- Pick up a copy of the brochure and map entitled “Bicycle Grays Harbor” at the Grays Harbor Fairgrounds office or at Greater Grays Harbor.
- Visit La Vogue Bicycle Shop in Hoquiam for all your bicycling needs.