by Deric Kettel
When we hear those words from someone it usually means that perhaps we’ve said something wrong and maybe it’s time to take our exit. However in this case it can mean something completely different. What we are talking about here is getting out and “Taking a Hike” on the newly improved Olympic Natural Resources Center Trail, known to locals as the ONRC Trail.
Since we have had a really mild winter here in Forks, so far, and spring is just around the corner, why not take this opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors a little early this year.
When you think of the name Olympic Natural Resources Center, what should stand out is the word “Resources.” One of the greatest resources that we all have in this part of the world is one that is free, fairly easy to access and sometimes closer than we think, getting out and enjoying the place we all have come to call home.
On any day, even when the weather isn‘t ideal, you can see trail users in the morning before work, at lunch and really anytime enjoying the trail.
From 1997 to the present, local folks as well as visitors to our area have enjoyed the trail that starts at the visitors center and brings them up to the ONRC.
Over the years there have been a lot of improvements to the trail as well as time and materials put in to keep this great resource open and safe. We have appreciated all the help from the community whether it’s calling or e-mailing me when they see a concern on the trail, to actually taking a little ownership by trimming low hanging branches and kicking gravel into small holes.
A couple of weeks ago, with the help of the Olympic Correction Center’s Community Service crews, we were able to replace three bridges and add some more gravel to the trail to keep walkers safe.
We would like to acknowledge OCC for the help we have received over the years with different projects like trail maintenance. Without them I could not have accomplished nearly as much up here.
OCC continues to be a great community resource and we look forward to this relationship in the future.
So, if you haven’t been on the trail in a while or this is the first time you are hearing about it, then we welcome you to come check it out. You can park up at the ONRC and walk around and down to the visitors center, or if you are looking for a bit more of a challenge, park down at the trailhead by the annex building near the big stump at the visitors center and walk up and around.
Also keep in mind the great trail located behind the visitors center and timber museum that take,s you through some large timber areas.
The total distance, depending on where you start and finish, can be as little as a quarter mile and as much as 2.5 miles. It’s all up to you. Also watch for future signage that will highlight different features on the trail, such as vegetation, early logging activity as well as an interesting pioneer water system. Please enjoy this great trail located so close to town.
So, the next time someone tells you to “Take a Hike” maybe, just maybe they are talking about the Olympic Natural Resources Center Trail.
Deric Kettel, is Maintenance Mechanic at ONRC.