Sights and Recreation
A once-upon-a-time state park, Camp Cushman (7211 N. Lake Cushman Rd., 360/877-6770, $5 day-use fee) is now managed by a private company. This 500-acre plot of rugged forest, pristine shoreline, and shaded picnic areas draws in recreational enthusiasts of all stripes. Anglers love to vie for cutthroat, kokanee, and rainbow trout in the lake. Divers come to explore the sunken forest and an old resort that was here before the dam was built. Hikers enjoy the four miles of hiking trails, leading from lake’s edge to deep woods. Others come to swim, water ski, and, in winter, cross-country ski.
Camp Cushman makes for a good base camp to explore the area. Follow Lake Cushman Rd. to a T intersection at road’s end; go left and follow the lake’s edge to 70-foot Cushman Falls, near the lake’s northwest end, about 11 miles from Hoodsport. Or, turn right at the T, then turn left in another 1.5 miles onto Big Creek Road 2419 for six miles to Big Creek Viewpoint for a sweeping view to the east.
The Mt. Ellinor Trail leaves Road 2419 at the five-mile point; the trail heads up one mile for a view over Lake Cushman. Hiking trails lead into Olympic National Park from Staircase Trailhead at the head of Lake Cushman, providing a range of hiking options. The Flapjacks Lake area is accessed by hiking up the North Fork Skokomish Trail, and then turning up the four-mile side route to the lake.
For longer hikes, you can continue up the North Fork Trail, which connects to others, providing a number of lengthy loop-trip options. A steep and challenging three-mile trail switchbacks from the campground to Wagonwheel Lake, gaining over 3,200 feet en route.
Golfers can enjoy the summer sunshine at the nine-hole, par 35 Lake Cushman Golf Course (210 West Fairway Dr, 360/877-5505, greens fees $31–33), four miles west of Hoodsport.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition