Post pandemic life has brought a greater awareness to our innate draw to spend more time outdoors and find new hobbies and activities that elevate the health of our minds and bodies. Whether you are a solo adventurist looking for your next opportunity to map out terrain in the beautiful forests of the pacific northwest, or a family wanting to organize opportunities for local travel and the exploration of nature while staying active, Lake Sylvia State Park located in Montesano, offers some of the best mountain biking trails in western Washington. The park trails connect to 5,000 acres of Montesano City Forest, a network of hiking and biking trails that have been maintained by local riders and Friends of Lake Sylvia State Park. The gateway to ride is located just 40 minutes from Interstate-5 and can easily be a day trip or weekend stay.

women standing next to bike at Montesano City Forest
Jess Caldwell takes a sunset ride through the many trails of the Montesano City Forest.

Lake Sylvia State Park is the entire package of an experience. Setting up a tent or RV right on the lake or tucked back in the forest allows mountain bikers to create a home base from which to play. Upon returning to camp after hours of joyful discovery, take a refresher by jumping into the lake for a swim. For those who want to catch and cook, pick up a fishing license from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife before your stay and drop a line. This particular lake is one of many that has been stocked with trout and steelhead for the 2022 Trout Derby, as well as offering year-round fishing. Grill your fresh catch for a lakeside sunset dinner before planning the next day’s trail ride.

Trailforks offers great trail reports including maps and detailed information on any of the trails you will discover as you venture to Grays Harbor County. From this link you can evaluate difficulty level as well as opportunities for E-biking. The three popular Montesano City Forest E-Biking Trails are listed as B-Line, G-Line and Camp Creek Access. E-biking offers extended mileage as they ride faster, have the capability to haul heavier gear, allows riders to conquer hills they might not have been able to access and are exceptionally fun.

The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is a nonprofit organization and the nation’s largest statewide mountain bike association. With a commitment to sustainable recreation, trail maintenance, advocacy, education, volunteerism and trail building, those wanting to find more connection within a larger community of riders might want to become a member for classes, events or to volunteer. Visit their Montesano City Forest page for navigation, stats and ride reports for your upcoming adventure through the gateway of Grays Harbor.

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