*By Krista Carper, originally posted on Thurston Talk 08/02/22, photos by Teresa Jordan
The seaside woods of Washington offer the best of both worlds when it comes to summer hiking. There’s a trail hike on The Evergreen State College campus that is a perfect way to cool off in the forest with a payoff of views of Puget Sound. The Evergreen Geoduck Trail in Olympia is a relatively easy summer hike through the mature forest, with scenic views at the beach of Eld Inlet.
Hiking the Evergreen Geoduck Trail
A favorite of students, families, birdwatchers and trail runners, Evergreen Geoduck Trail is doable in an hour or less, but you’ll want to spend some time at the water’s edge, so plan to devote at least a couple of hours there. There’s only a slight elevation on the trail, so skip the heavy hiking boots, but keep in mind that if the tide is out, conditions can be muddy at the beach. Open year-round, the summer season provides the best circumstances to avoid mud on the trail. This two-mile roundtrip hike is ideal for kids and leashed dogs, but keep in mind the path is dirt, so it’s probably not suitable for those who use wheelchairs or young ones in strollers.
There are several ways to reach the beach, but the most direct route is on the E1 Beach Trail. The path to the beach is downhill, and about halfway down, you’ll cross a bridge over Barking Dog Creek rushing below. The shady forest and cool ocean breezes are a great escape from the summer’s heat. Evergreen Geoduck offers a place to slow down and enjoy the solitude in a way only the ocean’s waters can provide. Pack a picnic or catch a show-stopping sunset on the rocky shore for an epic adventure close to home.