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Scatter Creek

Scatter Creek offers fun year-round trails on private timberland adjacent to the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area.  You can explore dozens of miles of logging roads and single-track trails in this area just south of Olympia, just minutes away from I-5.Scatter Creek

The Scatter Creek trails are on private timberland south of Olympia.

While everybody refers to this riding area as Scatter Creek, the wildlife area itself is off limits in order to protect several endangered species.  You’ll park next to the wildlife area, then ride around its perimeter to reach the horse trails.  The trails are on forest land owned by Port Blakely, Weyerhauser, and Pope and Talbot, who have graciously granted permission to the public to horseback ride here.Scatter Creek

These private timberlands feature beautiful woods and some clear-cut areas.

The area is laced with gravel logging roads and single-track trails that offer many loop options.  You don’t have any scenic vistas, but the forest is quite varied, ranging from dense, shady stands of Douglas-fir and alder to recent clear-cuts.Scatter Creek

Single-track trails connect with the gravel roads, creating many loop opportunities.

The gravel roads offer good footing year round, but the single-track trails can be muddy and slick after wet weather.  Hunting is permitted in season.Scatter Creek

Scatter Creek’s gravel roads offer good year-round footing.

The Riding:  Ride around the steel gate on the west side of the parking area.  Follow the horse trail signs north to a gravel road. Turn left on the gravel road or on the single-track trail that runs just to the left of it, and ride along the edge of the wildlife area and into the woods.  Major landmarks include the power line that runs generally north and south and the creek that bisects the area from east to west.  The roads and trails are not well signed, so bring your map and your compass or GPS, pick a logging road or a trail to ride out on, and have fun exploring the forest!

Trail Statistics:  The riding is easy, and you have plenty of opportunity to vary your rides.  Hoof protection is recommended because of the gravel roads.  Stock water is available on the trail.

Getting to Scatter Creek:  From I-5 about 12 miles south of Olympia, take Exit 95 and go west toward the Farm Boy Restaurant.   In 0.2 mile turn south on Case Road SW.  Watch your mileage carefully, and in exactly 4 miles turn right into an unsigned gravel parking loop.  You’ll see a kiosk on the far side of the parking area, next to a gray steel gate.

Season:  Year round.  The numerous logging roads have good all-weather footing, but the single track trails can be muddy and slippery in wet weather.

Facilities:  Day-use parking for many trailers.  No other facilities.  Discover Pass required.

More Information:  The Scatter Creek area trails are covered in more detail in the Scatter Creek chapter of Riding Southwest Washington Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, Ponderosa Press, 2016).

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