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Volunteers revitalize Quinault Loop Trail
Twenty-five people celebrated Earth Day on April 20 by working to enhance the beautiful Quinault Rain Forest Loop Trail. Olympic National Forest, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation and Lake Quinault Lodge, hosted the event. Hannah Ettema from the National Forest Foundation served as the project coordinator.
Located just south of Lake Quinault, the two-mile loop trail is a popular destination for thousands of visitors each year. Winter storms severely damaged the trail, making portions of it nearly impassable. Community members and volunteers rallied to complete the much needed improvements before the busy summer season.
Pete Erben, recreation technician on the Pacific Ranger District, said, “We are amazed by the enormous amount of work that this diligent group of volunteers was able to accomplish in just one day!” They cut brush and cleared winter debris; removed rocks, roots, and culverts; moved gravel to divert water from the trail; and improved drainage ditches and gravel surfacing. Large areas of non-native plants were treated as well.
The Forest Service provided hand tools, hard hats and motorized wheelbarrows to move gravel to the project sites. The Lake Quinault Lodge provided lunches for all of the volunteers, many of whom were employees from The Home Depot store in nearby Aberdeen.
Sandra Miller, activities manager at Lake Quinault Lodge, said, “We all reap the benefits of the hard work each person contributed. We send thousands of people up the Quinault Loop Trail each year and the improvements made will enhance the visit of each person who takes that hike. It is easily the most used trail on the South Shore.”
For more information about the Quinault Rain Forest Loop Trail, contact the Pacific Ranger District in Quinault at 360-288-2525.