McLane Nature Trail

The McLane Nature Trail is a wonderful option if you want to get a little time outdoors on an otherwise busy weekend. It is located within the Capital State Forest and offers a nice dose of Washington’s native flora and fauna.

Location: Southwest WA, Capitol Forest
Roundtrip: 1.5 mi.
Difficulty: Easy
Gain: 50 ft.
Rating: ★★★

IMG_7540(Area map as shown at trailhead)

A good portion of the trail is accessible by wheelchair, with assistance, as much of the trail consists of a boardwalk. There are plenty of platforms in which you can turn around, but doing so on the boardwalk would be a tight squeeze, so do keep that in mind if you have mobility concerns.

IMG_7554(Salmon swimming upstream to spawn)

If you happen upon this trail at the right time of year you’ll be able to watch chum salmon swim up the creek to spawn. Do note that the natural life cycle of the salmon involves it perishing after breeding. That being said, if you catch it at the wrong time of year the viewpoints along the creek may be rather stinky.

IMG_7575(Scars from logging activities)

There are a few good examples of old logging operations along the trail as well. Pictured above are post holes for springboards that loggers carved into the tree before cutting it down with a hand saw. This highlights some of our state’s history while also reminding us what a lasting impact our actions may have on the environment.

IMG_7588(A view from the trail)


Are There Toilets? : Yes! There are accessible vault toilets available near the second parking area

 How about Picnic Tables? : Yes. There is a group shelter with two picnic tables located near the second parking area

 Do I Need a Parking Pass? : Yes- use a discover pass. There is no pay station to purchase a pass so you’ll have to bring one.

 Are Dogs Allowed? : Yes!

Can We Camp Here? : This area is best used for day hiking (no camping allowed)

 When is the Best Time to Visit? : Anytime! As long as the weather cooperates, of course.


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McLane Nature Trail Co-ordinates: 47.0008, -123.0042

Washington Trail’s Association; McLane Nature Trail

Capitol Forest Weather Forecast


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