Forest Service rerouting damaged Bogachiel Rain Forest Trail after river shifts

Heavy winter rains continue to wreak havoc on trails and roads in the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park. The latest victim is the Bogachiel Rain Forest Trail, where 350 feet of trail about one mile from the trailhead has been damaged or destroyed by the shifting Bogachiel River, the U.S. Forest Service said.

“With the help of partners, we expect to have the trail rerouted soon. We know it is important access as day-use for hikers and fishermen as well as those journeying into and out of the park,” said District Ranger Dean Millett.

The trail is a portion of the 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, and leads from the trailhead on Undi Road 10 miles south of Forks through a portion of National Forest before continuing more than 25 miles into the national park.

It is currently open to hikers, who are warned to use extreme caution and avoid areas of the trail that have been undercut by the river.
There are also trees down across the trail as a result of the river’s incursion.

According to the Forest Service, the trail is normally fully wooded with side trails leading to fishing areas and overlooks at the Bogachiel River. In many areas, the river is now fully within view of the trail, said Molly Erickson, Forest Service permit administrator. She has hiked the damaged trail.

The Forest Service is planning to create a new route and is fast-tracking the process to locate a new location for a repair. The repair would bypass a 300-foot section of trail at the one-mile mark and a 50-foot section at the 1.5 mile mark.

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