The westernmost incorporated city in the Lower 48, Forks is the economic center and logging capital of the western Olympic Peninsula—a big handle for this town of 3,400 with one main drag. For travelers, the town’s big selling point is its proximity to the west side of Olympic National Park and Pacific coast beaches.
“City of Forks,” a notice in Forks reads, “Population: 3175 Vampires: 8.5.” It might seem out of place in this out-of-the-way logging community on the remote Olympic Peninsula. But for those in the know this is just one more sign that this obscure little town has been bitten by Twilight fever.
Seemingly overnight, Forks has been overrun with fans of the teenage vampire book series penned by Stephanie Meyer and adapted into a major motion picture released in 2008. Even though Meyer never even visited the town before using it as the setting for her books, the good-natured folks of Forks have had fun with the fame.
All around town you’ll find Twilight t-shirts for sale, signs welcoming fans, menu specials, and even custom-decorated motel rooms.
Sightseers will find a red pickup similar to the one driven by the heroine, Bella, parked out front of the visitor’s center, and the folks there have teamed up with the local chamber of commerce to offer a special Twilight tour of Forks. Included on the tour is a stop in front of Forks High School, where camera crews shot scenes for the movie.
For more information, visit www.forkswa.com/HomeofTwilighttheBook.
Forks’ 4th of July is actually a three-day festival of fun that includes an art show, pancake breakfast, parades, a loggers show, frog jump, demolition derby, dancing, and fireworks.
Also nearby is a modern University of Washington natural resources research facility.
Getting to Forks
Local buses all stop at the transportation building (521 N. Forks Ave.) in Forks. Clallam Transit (360/452-4511 or 800/858-3747, www.clallamtransit.com) provides daily service north to Port Angeles and Neah Bay, and west to La Push.
Catch the free West Jefferson Transit (800/436-3950, www.jeffersontransit.com) bus, south from Forks to Kalaloch, Queets, and Lake Quinault. At Lake Quinault, join the Grays Harbor Transit system for points south and east.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition