Capitol Forest is a 100,000 acre State Forest managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The forest is a short drive from the state capitol, Olympia. Topographically speaking, the forest is part of the Black Hills, the northeastern-most portion of the Willapa Hills. The forest is bordered on the south and west by the Chehalis River, the east by the Deschutes valley, and the north by the Puget Sound. Capitol Forest has over a hundred miles of trails and hundreds of miles of gravel roads. Free camping is available on a first-come first-served basis at official campground sites.
Capitol Forest is a working forest, and logging operations are common. But, that's part of the lifeblood of Western Washington, and we regularly work with the DNR to minimize trail impacts, where possible. The history and magic of the Forest also permeate the place, if you know where to look. There's a ghost town, carved gnomes, long-abandoned railroad beds, cougars, bears, bobcats, lots of deer (just not during hunting season), and even a resident herd of elk. Mushrooms abound, when the season is right, and there have even been reports of the mystical and elusive Capitol Forest Wild Turkey. Honestly, Sasquatch sightings are more common, so we'll believe the turkey thing when we see it for ourselves.
There are two primary mountain biking trail systems in Capitol Forest: Central Capitol Forest and the North Slope. Generally, Central Capitol Forest provides an XC-oriented experience, and the North Slope hosts a shuttle-ready DH/Enduro trail system. The Central Capitol Forest trails are mostly multi-use, while the North Slope trails are mountain bike only. Both trail systems are maintained by hard-working FOCF volunteers.