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Contact: Penny Wagner, 360-565-3005
PORT ANGELES, WA: On Monday, March 15, work will begin on Spruce Railroad Trail at Lake Crescent to clear a large landslide. The majority of Spruce Railroad Trail will be closed for public safety until the work is complete. The work is expected to last until late April.
The Spruce Railroad Trail has been closed between the tunnels to through traffic since early January after a large landslide approximately 280 feet wide covered the trail with an estimated 3,000 cubic yards of material and debris. Bruch & Bruch Construction of Port Angeles will be performing the work to reopen the trail. The contract is funded by the National Park Service Transportation Program with Federal Highways funding.
East Beach Road will be closed to the public at the intersection with Joyce-Piedmont Road. Camp David Jr. Road and the westbound portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail and Pyramid Peak Trail will remain accessible from the North Shore Picnic Area on Camp David Jr. Road. The public can access one mile of the Spruce Railroad Trail from the west end trailhead on Camp David Jr. Road up to the Daley Rankin Tunnel. The remainder of the trail from the Daley Rankin Tunnel east to the Lyre River Trailhead will be closed for public safety to accommodate the operation of heavy equipment and truck traffic.
Travel Alert: East Beach Road at Lake Crescent is currently closed at Highway 101 for public safety due to debris hazards from a wildland fire in summer 2020. Conditions will be assessed in late April to determine if reopening the road is possible this spring. All day use recreation sites along East Beach Road are closed at this time.
For current trail, road, and travel information, visitors should consult the park website at www.nps.gov/olym or call the recorded Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131.
The final phase of work for the Spruce Railroad Trail Project at Lake Crescent was completed in December 2020. The trail improvements were part of a multi-year collaborative project to establish the entire 10-mile length of the Olympic Discovery Trail section on the north shore of Lake Crescent as a universally accessible, multipurpose trail to be shared by hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, and people traveling in wheelchairs. The Spruce Railroad Trail Project was a partnership between Clallam County and Olympic National Park. Federal Highway Administration staff provided construction management and general contract oversight.
The Spruce Railroad Trail follows the historic railroad grade of the Spruce Railroad, built in 1918 to harvest and transport aircraft-quality spruce for biplanes in World War I. The railroad was almost complete in the fall of 1918, but the end of World War I that November meant the end of the operation and no Sitka spruce were ever processed at the local mills for biplanes. The railroad was purchased from the government and utilized as a common-carrier line and logging railroad after the war until it was abandoned in 1951.
Today, the railroad grade is part of Olympic National Park and the Spruce Railroad Trail is a piece of the planned 135-mile long Olympic Discovery Trail which will eventually connect Port Townsend to La Push—Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean.
Last updated: March 12, 2021