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“Room for Improvement” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Forks Lumber Mill Tour

Forks Lumber Mill Tour
1411 S Forks Avenue, Forks, WA
(360) 374-9663
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Ranked #7 of 10 Activities in Forks
Type: Factory Tours, Sightseeing Tours
Attraction details
Oxford, Ohio, USA
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Room for Improvement”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2012

Only done on Wednesdays so we were unable to do it; especially disappointing in a lumber region.

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Santa Maria, California
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
“The Coast Starlight to Olympic National Park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2012

Most retired folks don’t consider traveling to the Pacific Northwest on a vacation, as it is quite remote and can be very cold or wet. When I suggested a train trip to Washington to Pam, she balked at first, stating, “why would you want to go on a trip on a train?” Well that statement from her, since I had never hit the rails for a very long trip, sat the wheels in motion for a journey that neither of us had ever embarked on before. Because of the need to get there quick and easy on the airlines, we’ve always preferred to travel that way. I’ve never considered being a travel agent before, but searching for and finding train schedules, car rentals, hotels, logging tour busses and ferry routes made me realize how valuable those folks really are. I worked for two hours coordinating our trip and presented plans to Pam along with virtual tours of rail car interiors, hotel room pictures, scenic views along the way and the estimated cost involved with our journey. While we were to log many miles watching the scenery, she liked the concept of not having to drive and having a private room for travel comfort. Off we went in the middle of June to a great adventure that will be in our minds forever.

The first leg of the trip found us heading to San Luis Obispo to catch the train. After boarding the “big silver bullet” as we called it, our pilot took us thru some very beautiful places like Mt. Shasta, Klamath Falls, Chemult and Eugene. We got off the train in Olympia, Washington and took a cab to our hotel. The next morning, a rental car was obtained for the major leg of the trip to the Northwest part of Washington. The town of Forks was our ultimate destination and the most interesting part of the outing. Checking into the Dewdrop Inn was one of our best experiences. Now this is not a commercial ad for that facility, but the coffee in our room was superb, rooms and morning breakfast outstanding as well as the staff.

The city of Forks is situated on a broad prairie 14 miles from the ocean. About 5,000 folks live in the area where we found many wonderful restaurants. Near the south edge of town you'll find the visitor information center, the Forks Timber Museum and the Forks Loggers' Memorial with its 12 foot wood-carved logger. The complex offers gardens and forest paths that link to the University of Washington research facility. The Forks Timber Museum features an authentic fire lookout tower, a 9-foot cook stove from a logging camp and exhibits of pioneer and regional history. Free Logging and Mill Tours depart from the Forks Visitor Center on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from May through September at 9:30am. Step aboard a real logging crew bus for a 2-3 hour tour of a mill, logging sites and a glimpse at the work of our nations' only Forestry Training Center.

Rialto Beach, north of the Quillayute River, is a drive-to beach and a beautiful spot to enjoy the surf and watch shorebirds, eagles and seals and also to spread out your lunch basket for a gourmet meal of local smoked Salmon, bagels with cream cheese. On the south side of the river in the Quileute Indian village of LaPush, is a mile-long crescent known for surfing- size waves and great whale watching with kayakers, surfers and seals often adding to the view. Second Beach, just east of LaPush, is popular with photographers and is reached by way of a .7 mile forested trail that leads to a 2-mile long sandy stretch of beach - watch for the eagle nest above the tree line. The Sol Duc Salmon Hatchery, 13 miles north of Forks, has interpretive displays, river access, picnic areas and a docent that has rodeoed with Cotton Rosser’s Flying U rodeo company extensively. The Hoh Rain Forest is a not-to-be-missed attraction on the West Side of the Olympic Peninsula with good picnic grounds nearby. Port Angeles was also visited on our return to Olympia to fill the ice chest with locally caught and smoked Salmon. After spending five days enjoying the area, we started our train trip back home to Orcutt Ranch with wonderful memories and many pictures of a great vacation in Washington State.

John Linder

Visited July 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbotsford, Canada
2 reviews
“lumber galore”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2012

Very informative and interesting place to spend getting to know the industry of the region.

Visited February 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Federal Way, Washington
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
64 attraction reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
“Real lumbering operation and sawmill - Not a tourist attraction”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2011

Forks Chamber of Commerce runs the 3 hour tours in a 12 passenger van sponsored by local companies. If this were commercial, you would pay $25-60 head but it is free. Consider that at the end and make an appropriate donation to the Chamber of Commerce. The volunteer driver/guide was very knowledgable and friendly, having worked in the forest industries for 30 years. We visited the sawmill and walked through all the operations, while they were running. It was fascinating how efficiently they cut the logs using computer controlled video recognition systems to get the optimal amount of wood from each log. We toured the saw shop while a machinist was sharpening the 1 ' wide circular bandsaw blades that do the cutting as well as the warehouse and the drying areas. From the mill, we drove into the forest, up a logging road to an actual logging sight. It was exactly like what you see on the Discovery Channel, real workers felling real trees and huge pieces of machinery dragging them up the hill on steel cables to be loaded on log trucks. This is the real deal.

Visited August 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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