Hikes, outings

We hope you are all healthy and able to enjoy the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula. Once again this month, our Natural History Society won’t be able to lead an outdoor outing.

Where to Go in November

November is a chilly month on the Olympic Peninsula, and a time of transition to winter. In past years, our Natural History Society has visited these special places to explore the biodiversity:

Fort Worden – Bring your plant guide and a hand lens, and try to identify plants that look quite different this time of year. Clues like lingering berries, bark, or autumn leaves can help.

Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum)

Cappy’s Trails – Walk slowly and watch for ways that plants and animals are preparing for winter. Find a map and learn about the Quimper Wildlife Corridor on the Land Trust’s website: saveland.org/protected-properties/quimper-wildlife-corridor/

Waterfalls – Follow a one-mile trail to magnificent Murhut Falls near Brinnon, and a much shorter trail to Rocky Brooks Falls near the Dosewallips River. See how many different mosses and ferns you can find. While driving, keep an eye out for Roosevelt Elk. If you see them, stay in your car to respect their needs.

Dosewallips River waterfall

Roosevelt Elk

Mushrooms – Bring a mushroom field guide and explore the dark, damp trails at Fort Townsend. Look for the features that distinguish one mushroom from another. Don’t plan to cook them unless you’re an expert!

Smoky-gilled Naematoloma (Hypholoma capnoides)

Indian Island– Cross the bridge to the island and turn right to park at the first County Park. Follow the trail that parallels the road toward the second County Park. Notice the beautiful Madrona trees, seabirds, and maybe a view of Mt. Rainier.

Black Turnstone & Black-bellied Plover


Rain doesn’t stop intrepid naturalists from looking for insects at Gibbs Lake in September 2018.

Hooded Merganser

Dungeness Spit driftwood and stones

Surf Scoter

Usnea lichen in the wind