Hike of the week: HOBBIT VILLAGE TRAIL

Hike description: Finding the Hobbit Village at Federation Forest State Park is a great way to entertain and exercise the family in the fall and winter. The park is at about 1,650 feet of elevation, so the light snow that sometimes graces the area rarely stays around for long.

The Hobbit Village is an informally created community. To get to the Hobbit Village, head west on the main trail from the Interpretive Center. Interpretive signs along the trail highlight the natural features of the forest. When you get to the wood information board near the informal western entrance to the park you are very close – just keep heading west on that trail. You’ll come around a corner and there you will be. Hobbits are, of course, of small stature, so their village will be at the level of your shins. You should be looking down not up. For a shorter trip, park at the pull-out on the south side of state Route 410 about half a mile west of the main entrance.

Directions: Drive state Route 410 east from Enumclaw about 18 miles to the interpretive center parking area (mile post 41), on the right-hand side of the road. If the gate is closed, retrace your route about half a mile west and use the parking area located on the same side of the road.

Difficulty rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 5 is most difficult)

Miles round-trip: 2.5

Elevation: Minimal

Best time of year: Year-round

Map: Green Trails 238 Greenwater

Pass: None needed

Also: Download a schematic map with no topographic lines at: nailAndmaps/8300042.pdf. The trails can be muddy and the bridges sometimes slippery. This is a forest hike out of town so you should have the 10 Essentials and adequate food and water for the trip. There always seem to be more trails in the park than ever show up on the map. A handy navigation tip is to orient yourself to the road and the river, the two “natural” boundaries of the park. Keep yourself within sight and sound of the road and the river and have fun exploring. Restrooms are in the Interpretive Building and in the summer some are open by the river.

Info: Check the website for hours of the Interpretive Center: Forest&subject=all

Hike of the Week is presented by The Mountaineers Tacoma Branch Hiking/Backpacking Committee.