Olympic National Park attracts all sorts of visitors. Those who love to mountain bike ride are not left out. Many park visitors also like to try new things or figure out new ways to exercise. Mountain bike riding is a great way to experience the Olympic Peninsula. Most people who visit the park drive the large loop surrounding the park and venture into the interior through side roads and trails. Most of the mountain biking in the area is just outside the park, but the surrounding area offers quite a bit of single-track bike trails. The roads of the park allow bicycles, but trail riding is what is mostly prohibited.
There is one unique trail route inside the park that permits bicycles, the Spruce Railroad Trail also known as the Lake Crescent Trail. Along Lake Crescent, about half of the route is trail and the other part is the North Shore Road for a total of about 9 miles from one end of Lake Crescent to the other. If you only like riding trails, then only ride to where the trail turns into road and turn around for an 8 mile round trip. The trail hugs the lake shore with sweeping views over the lake of the Olympic Mountains, particularly Mount Storm King. A highlight of this trail is an arched bridge and extensive wildflower blooms on either side. The bridge crosses The Devil’s Bathtub, which is a deep cove with plunging cliffs blanketed with the greenery from mosses and ferns. Keep your eyes peeled for the rare chocolate lily in the spring. The bridge gives a spectacular view of Lake Crescent, which is over 600 feet deep and 9 miles long.
Just outside of the park and connected to the Spruce Railroad Trail is the Adventure Trail. This is an unpaved section of the larger Olympic Discovery Trail which will eventually connect Port Townsend to La Push. The section of the Olympic Discovery Trail that is completed and paved does go from Port Townsend to Port Angeles. So if you want to cruise the paved trail along the beaches along the Straight of Juan de Fuca, that is an exciting option. The Adventure Trail section is un-paved and traverses through the forest between the town of Port Angeles and Lake Crescent. It begins near the intersection of Hwy 101 and 112, on 112 turn left (south) after the bridge over the Elwha River. There is a kiosk with maps and a small parking area here. It is an isolated and quiet ride that goes all the way to Piedmont, where the park entrance is and the beginning of the Spruce Railroad Trail (which is also part of the incomplete Olympic Discovery Trail route.)
Several other single track adventures surround Olympic National Park. A handful of recreational single track trails are in the northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula, such as Anderson Lake State Park, Gibbs Lake County Park, trails on Miller Peninsula and the highly rated Dungeness-Gold Creek Loop. These routes are in close proximity to the finished section of the Olympic Discovery Trail. In the south and east areas of the park, two single track rides stand out, Skokomish River Trail near the Hood Canal and the Wynoochee Lake Trail just west of Skokomish River. There is one notable ride in the northwest corner near the park called Mount Muller.
Gibbs Lake and Anderson Lake are both 5 mile trails that are more like single-track playgrounds. The other trail rides are between 13-18 miles long with elevation changes up to 3100 feet. These trails are mostly for intermediate and advanced riders, especially Mount Muller and the Dungeness-Gold Creek Loop. The Adventure Trail, although long, and the Spruce Railroad Trail are more suited to less experienced trail riders, as are the paved sections of the Olympic Discovery Trail. The Adventure Trail is not suited to road bicycles, nor are the single track paths. In spring, keep your eyes peeled for ticks and poison oak.