Community July 2, 2023

Spend a Weekend Exploring the Hood Canal

The Hood Canal is the perfect place to explore with family or friends. The narrow waterway off of Puget Sound is great for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Both sides of the canal are lined with interesting towns and activities that are fun for all ages. We’ve listed some of our favorites below.

Scenic Beach State Park, Seabeck

The name says it all. Scenic Beach State Park was recently voted the “Best Romantic Spot” by locals, and the photo above gives you an idea of the stunning views you’ll enjoy while there. It’s a 121-acre camping park with 1,500 feet of saltwater beachfront along the Hood Canal. Visitors can camp, boat, crab, fish, and swim. There is also a volleyball court and playground. It’s the perfect destination for a family picnic and has become a popular venue for weddings and other events. It’s one of Kitsap County’s many gems, and if you haven’t visited, we highly recommend it.

Tahuya State Forest, Mason County

This 23,000-acre state forest is part of a vast network of working forest land managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Visitors can enjoy the vast trail network (PDF) within the state forest, as well as various lakes and campsites. In addition, it hosts an exclusive trailhead for 4×4 vehicles with obstacles and adventures. The Tahuya River Horse Camp is also a popular destination for horseback riders.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa, Union

Alderbrook Resort & Spa is an oasis on the Hood Canal. Sitting on 88 acres, the resort offers hotel rooms and cottages right along the water with stunning views. Visitors can sit outside and enjoy Alderbrook’s delicious food or spend a day at the spa by choosing from a plethora of options on their spa menu.  In addition, the property boasts 5 miles of trails to enjoy, and they also offer a guided scenic cruise in the summer.

Vance Creek Railriders, Shelton

For one of the most unique experiences on the Hood Canal, look no further than the Vance Creek Railriders. The Railrider is a quadricycle that has four wheels and rides over the historic Simpson Logging Company Railway. The trip takes about two hours and is 13 miles round trip through scenic forests, bridges, and farmland.

Lake Cushman Area, Hoodsport

This area is named for its proximity to the Lake Cushman Reservoir. The clear blue waters and forested shoreline make it a popular destination. It’s located along the left fork of the Skokomish River in Mason County. It’s a wonderful spot for water sports, fishing, and popular hikes such as the Staircase Rapids (a 2.1-mile round-trip hike in old-growth forest along cascading waterfalls). If you enjoy camping, Skokomish Park at Lake Cushman offers group campsites and RV sites. The park borders 41,500 feet of shoreline, including three boat launches.

Lake Cushman Golf Course, Hoodsport

Lake Cushman Golf Course is located just north of Hoodsport along the Hood Canal. It was designed to meet the needs of golfers at all skill levels. Plus, if you’re around on a Monday night, sign up for their Monday Night Scramble! Players also have access to the putting green and a 270-yard driving range.

Octopus Hole Conservation Area, Hoodsport

This dedicated conservation area is very popular with scuba divers. The walls on the dive are accessible from the shore. Various underwater creatures can be seen, such as Lingcod, Giant Pacific Octopus, and Wolf Eel. This protected area is really a treat if you like learning about some of nature’s most fascinating underwater creatures.

Hama Hama Oysters, Liliwaup

This beloved, family-owned oyster and tree farm sells fresh oysters straight from the Hood Canal. The Oyster Saloon is their outdoor eatery that’s right on the water, so come dressed according to the weather. The full menu is offered Friday – Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Reservations are recommended on busy holiday weekends. Additionally, Hama Hama has a farm store where you can purchase fresh oysters and other local products. The farm store is open seven days a week from 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM. Hama Hama also offers oyster classes, farm days when you can pick and harvest your own oysters, and live music in the summer on Thursday nights.

Dosewallips State Park, Brinnon

Another amazing camping spot along the Hood Canal, Dosewallips offers freshwater and saltwater activities. You may even get to see elk wandering the grounds – just be sure to give them space. Recreational activities here include clam and oyster harvesting, crabbing, and fishing. Keep an eye on all fishing and shellfishing regulations currently in place by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

There’s no shortage of opportunities for fun along the Hood Canal. If you’re looking for more great things to do in our area, check out these local places to recharge.