*By Krysta Carper, originally published on South Sound Talk 08/12/22
Capitol State Forest
As a multi-use area, Capitol State Forest is a place where outdoor enthusiasts of all types delight in the Pacific Northwest’s wilds. Hikers, mountain bikers, motorized vehicles and equestrians appreciate this massive outdoor playground with 100,000 acres of forests, trails, hills and mountains. With around 100 miles of trails for motorized use, Capitol Forest offers those with a need for speed routes with dirt, trees, climbs and more for hours of fun on ATVs and dirt bikes. Just a quick drive from Tacoma and in the timber-producing working forest of the Black Hills, Capitol Forest is a popular recreation destination with access to countless trail systems, day-use areas, campgrounds and more.
Rock Candy Trailhead
The trails at Rock Candy are primarily for off-road vehicles and mountain bike riders, but hikers also use them. There are restrooms at the trailhead and ample paved parking, all you need is a Discover Pass at $11.50 for day-use or $35 for an annual pass. Be sure to look at the information board at the trailhead for any alerts or notices for the area.
Beyond the trailhead, find groomed logging roads to more uneven and rocky terrain for endless fun on two wheels or four! The trail weaves around Rock Candy Mountain to an open summit and on a clear summer day, find views of the state’s majestic mountains, the south saltwater inlets of Puget Sound and if conditions are right, downtown Seattle.