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A Hiker’s Guide to Fall in Port Townsend: Best Trails and Views

As the leaves turn to vibrant hues of gold, orange, and red, Port Townsend, Washington, transforms into a hiker’s paradise. If you’re a hiker, this is your ideal hiker’s guide to Port Townsend for fall. For a continuation of this guide, check out our other post on more hiking trails in Port Townsend. Nestled on the Olympic Peninsula, this charming town offers an array of trails that showcase the spectacular beauty of fall. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a peaceful stroll, here are some of the best trails and views to experience in Port Townsend this autumn.

1. Fort Worden State Park Trails

Fort Worden, with its historic military installations and breathtaking seaside views, offers a variety of trails suitable for all levels. The Bluff Trail is a particular favorite in fall, offering panoramic views of the Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains, especially stunning as the morning fog lifts. The Battery Hill Trail winds through dense forests, now a tapestry of fall colors, leading to historic gun emplacements.

2. Chetzemoka Park Loop

For a more leisurely experience, the Chetzemoka Park Loop, named after the revered Native American Chief Chetzemoka, is a perfect choice. The park is a kaleidoscope of fall colors and offers splendid views of Admiralty Inlet. The loop is easy and suitable for families, winding through a mix of native and exotic trees shedding their autumn leaves.

3. Larry Scott Memorial Trail

Part of the Olympic Discovery Trail, this path stretches 7.3 miles from the Port Townsend Boat Haven to Milo Curry Road. It’s a shared trail, open to hikers, cyclists, and equestrians. In the fall, this trail is particularly magical, with golden-hued canopies and occasional wildlife sightings, such as deer and eagles.

4. North Beach Park to McCurdy Point

For those seeking a coastal hike, the trek from North Beach Park to McCurdy Point is unbeatable. The 2-mile stretch offers unobstructed views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In autumn, the contrast of the cobalt blue waters against the fiery shoreline is spectacular.

5. Old Fort Townsend State Park

This park, with its 3.5 miles of hiking trails, is a hidden gem. The Rain Shadow Loop offers a gentle walk through a recovering forest and meadows with views of Port Townsend Bay. The fall colors here are mixed with the lush greens of the Pacific Northwest, creating a serene hiking experience.

Hiking Safety Tips for Fall

  • Dress in Layers: Fall in Port Townsend can be chilly, especially in the mornings. Dress in layers to adjust to changing temperatures.
  • Check the Weather: Weather can change rapidly; always check the forecast before heading out.
  • Stay on Marked Trails: Preserve the natural beauty and your safety by staying on designated trails.
  • Bring Water and Snacks: Even on short hikes, it’s important to stay hydrated and energized.
  • Tell Someone Your Plan: Let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return.
  • Be Wildlife Aware: Although encounters are rare, it’s wise to know what to do if you meet wildlife.

Fall in Port Townsend is a season of awe-inspiring beauty, perfect for exploring the great outdoors. These trails not only offer a chance to witness the splendor of autumn but also provide a serene escape into nature. So lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and immerse yourself in the enchanting fall landscape of Port Townsend.

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