Location: Quinault, Olympic NP
Roundtrip: 1.5 miles
Gain: 30 ft.
The Kestner homestead was originally claimed in 1891, by Anton Kestner. After serving as a homestead for many years the property came into the possession of the National Forest Service. However, despite this, it fell into disrepair.
Now there are plans to renovate the site, but it still has a long way to go. Visitors today can stroll the grounds of the homestead and, with a little imagination, can almost see right into the past.
The trail begins at the North Shore Ranger Station in Quinault. It’s best hiked counterclockwise from the parking lot; this trail is easy to follow and offers an easy grade.
After a short stroll through the rainforest, you’ll cross a bridge; from there, the homestead should be in sight. The main home is currently closed for repair, but you’re welcome to look through the windows!
You’re also allowed to explore the outbuildings on the property. There are some interesting things to see, though the history of each structure isn’t revealed through interpretive signs (hopefully one day, though!). Instead, you’ll have to make your best guess with a little help from your imagination.
Take time to snack, rest, or hide from the rain at the picnic tables under the barn – which has a new roof – before continuing down the path to complete the loop.
Are There Toilets? : Yes! As luck would have it, there are flush toilets located near the parking area.
How about Picnic Tables? : There is only one table by the parking lot, but if you trek into the homestead you’ll find plenty under the old barn.
Do I Need a Parking Pass? : No. This is likely because you’re parking at a Ranger Station along with the trailhead.
Are Dogs Allowed? : No.
Can We Camp Here? : There is plenty of camping along the south shore of Lake Quinault.
When is the Best Time to Visit? : This is a great destination year-round!
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