Restoring the 24-mile trail segment of the Bogachiel Trail to National Scenic Trail standards has been a huge undertaking. Fortunately, Pacific Northwest Trails Association and their partnership with the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and local volunteer groups have supported each other to get the job done.
Beginning in 2019, with the help of a Washington Trails Association volunteer crew, the US Forest Service kickstarted the multi-year project to restore the trail. They began restoration work on an essential, one-and-a-half-mile-long segment of the PNT on the Olympic National Forest which borders the park. Starting at the Bogachiel Trailhead, they worked eastward along the Bogachiel Rain Forest Trail relocating parts of the trail that had washed out and making the trail passable to stock again.
It was a critical first step that would take the dedicated volunteers two seasons to tackle. Restoring equestrian access on the first mile of the Bogachiel Trail would be key to the entire effort. In Olympic National Park, stock animals are used to transport trail crews’ tools and supplies to remote worksites.
Thanks to volunteers with the Back Country Horsemen of Washington and packers with the National Park Service, the Olympic Trail Crew was able to meet its goal of restoring over 23 miles of the Bogachiel Trail this past summer!
Back Country Horsemen of Washington pack strings, composed of several horses and mules were used to carry the crew’s food, trail tools, and other supplies to backcountry worksites up to 17 miles from the trailhead.
As the trail crew worked further east, they eliminated obstacles along the PNT that both hikers and equestrians had encountered for many years. By fixing tread, horse fords, taming brush — and cutting over 100 big logs from the trail — the pack string was able to travel further into the Wilderness.
In turn, these experienced packers were there to help lighten their load so that the Olympic Trail Crew could spend more time working to restore the badly overgrown trail. Thanks to their combined effort, the Bogachiel Trail is now more accessible to hikers and equestrians than it has been in many years.
To get to the Bogachiel trailhead From Forks travel south on US Highway 101 for 5 miles then turn east on Undi Road, across from Bogachiel State Park, and proceed approximately two miles to the Undi Rd Bypass. Turn left (primitive road, all-wheel or four-wheel drive is best) and proceed approximately 1 mile, stay right and follow the road another mile. At the stop sign turn to the left on FS Road 2932 and follow to the trailhead.
Bogachiel Trail segment is a part of the PNNST, Forks is a popular resupply destination among PNT hikers, if interested visit www.pnt.org to learn more about the trail and learn how to get involved.