Buck up, folks. It’s Friday. The weekend’s just around the corner. ‘Sides, today we’re diving into a brand-spankin’ new edition of What’s Good in Grays Harbor. How many of these do you recognize? What would you add?
- Bottle Beach State Park, Aberdeen
I wouldn’t go out there during peak rainy season. The place turns into a swamp. But when things dry out a bit, this 75-acre site is great for birding and botany excursions. Easy access to the beach from a boardwalk out of the parking lot. Bring your Discover Pass.
Bottle Beach State Park
33 Ocosta 3rd St.
Aberdeen, WA 98520
Hours: The park is open dawn to dusk year round.
From the Montesano Courthouse to the Elma Theater to the Old McCleary Hotel and the Kestner Homestead in Quinault, Grays Harbor has like a million historic buildings. Okay. Well, maybe 999,999,999. You get the idea.
Find out more at: 10 Historic Buildings Linking Grays Harbor’s Past to the Present
3) Beacon Hill Park, Hoquiam
The climb up and around a circuitous one-way road to Beacon Hill Park may be a challenge, but it’s worth it. Most of Hoquiam and a sizable chunk of the harbor are laid out at your feet. Postcard-perfect on a clear day. Tip: Hoof it. The climb is a great cardio workout. And it’s all downhill on the way back.
Off Highland Drive and Beacon Hill Drive, Hoquiam.
4) Chehalis Riverfront Walkway, Aberdeen
This is what we call a “wuss-wuss” trail. For the record, that’s anything that’s paved. But this walk along an abandoned railroad grade and levee is easy on the knees and the eyes. The paved trail meanders through wetlands past settling ponds. You can start from either the Bishop Athletic Complex or south side Aberdeen.
5) Galway Bay, Ocean Shores
“The Pacific Northwest’s largest Irish pub.” St. Patrick’s Day is coming up. Need I say more?
880 Point Brown Avenue NE Ocean Shores
6) Chehalis River Bridge, Aberdeen
I know. This sounds weird. But if you’ve ever topped this bridge just as the clouds pour out a double rainbow, you know what I mean.
Hugging the placid waters of the Hoquiam River. Catch mirror-image reflections of skies and sunsets off the water. Soaring evergreens. Lots of quiet. Includes a boat launch, large grassy area, weather-beaten table and a wooden bench overlooking the river.
Near Endresen Road and Semler in Hoquiam. Dirt parking area is across from the city pumping station.
8) Elip Creek, Quinault
A true-blue, genuine, 100% DIY hike past Wolf Bar and Halfway House into the Wild Blue Yonder. The first part of this 13 mile RT trail parallels the Quinault River. Then you head into lush forests and a zillion creek crossings. You climb a bit, but the grade is mild. It’s also rocky. I mean, really rocky.
The trail head is located about 12 miles northeast of Lake Quinault along North Fork Quinault River Road. The road is unpaved once you hit the cut-off. Mind the Manhattan-sized pot holes.
Note: DO NOT attempt the Wild Rose Creek crossing in early spring when the water is high and running fast. Unless you have really, really good insurance. (Don’t ask how I know this.)
I know again. This still sounds weird. But work on this bridge is nearly complete. It’s finally been re-opened to foot traffic. And if you’ve ever topped this bridge on a clear day when the sky spills out a flawless bowl of blue and you can see into next week, then you know that THE MOUNTAIN IS OUT! And you can see it from here. Que bella!!
10) Aberdeen – Raymond – Tokeland – Grayland – Westport Loop 101 to the 105.
Part of this puppy is outside GH (in Pacific County, to be exact). You wanna split hairs here? Don’t bother. Just take this scenic stretch of road on a fine, clear Sunday afternoon when the sky sparkles like Delft china and the wind is at your back. Sweeping views of the beach, Smith Creek, and a paved walkway hugging the beach side of Tokeland. For the truly intrepid, stop in at Washaway Beach and dance thru the driftwood. (You best be quick.)
Isn’t this fun?