Willapa Hills State Park trail

Just outside the charming small town of Chehalis my family and I met up with one of the most beautiful hikes in Washington state. On a classically beautiful early spring day, all things came together for us – my son’s first day of vacation since 2020 (the hospital he works in has been struggling with insufficient staffing), my spouse set aside his projects, and the extreme fatigue I’ve been working through since October subsided – and we hit the trail. We began our hike at the Adna trailhead. This is an especially picturesque area as you hike along pasture, stream, and meadow.

Cows, sheep, lambs, and horses populate this area.

My phone camera doesn’t do justice to distance, but as you see, these little guys called out to us as we passed by. Also, we were talking with the lambs as I tried to take this shot.

As you leave the pastoral areas and cross Spooner and Clinton roads, a series of meadows and streams greet you. A combination of snow and heavy rains flattened grasses along the trail.

Down the trail, you cross the Chehalis River.

After crossing the river, the trail enters forested areas. This portion of the trail is quiet and filled with the sweet scent of moss. And at the start of this region, treats are provided for hiking companions.

Many hillsides along the trail show signs of considerable erosion from February rains, and an eastern portion of the trail was closed due to landslides.

If you haven’t hiked the Willapa Hills State Park trail system yet, I recommend visiting it soon. Spring is a beautiful time of year for hiking, and this trail system is one of our state’s easiest and most scenic trails. And, if time allows, ending your hike with a visit to the Market Street Bakery and Café in Chehalis is well worth the time!

I wish you a spring full of good hiking, clear weather, and open bakeries!

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