HIKE DESCRIPTION: The Interorem Cabin at the trailhead was built in 1907 by U.S. Forest Service ranger Emery Finch. The three-room cabin built with cedar logs was the first administration building for Olympic National Forest.
According to a trail sign, Finch warned a group of visitors from Seattle about the size of their fire. He ended up marrying a member of the party, Maybelle, and in 1908 they moved into the cabin. Their favorite fishing hole was on the Duckabush River, about a mile from the cabin.
Their well-worn route is now a neatly maintained trail that’s a relatively easy hike with a short, steeper pitch near the river.
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The swiftly moving rapids at Ranger Hole are interesting to observe, but rocks can be slippery when wet and visitors are reminded to watch their steps.
The trip to and from the dramatic section of the Duckabush immerses hikers in green: trees, lady ferns, moss.
Don’t skip the short loop near the cabin. This section includes interpretive signage that tells the story of Ranger Hole and the Finch family, and offers a chance to stand at the foot of the huge moss-covered tree behind the dwelling.
DIRECTIONS: Take U.S. Highway 101 north from Shelton or south from Quilcene. Near Milepost 301, follow the signs to the Duckabush Recreation Area by turning northwest on Duckabush Road. Shortly after entering Olympic National Forest, turn left into the parking lot of the Interorem Cabin.
DIFFICULTY RATING: 1 (5 is most difficult, 1 is easiest).
MILES ROUND TRIP: 2.1.
ELEVATION GAIN: 240 feet.
BEST TIME OF THE YEAR: Year-round.
MAP: Green Trails 168: The Brothers.
PASS: Northwest Forest Pass.
ALSO: The 109-year-old Interorem Cabin is available for rent. Information is available at recreation.gov. The trail is open to bikes. Water is available at the trailhead, thanks to a hand pump. A pit toilet is also available near the trailhead. Pets are permitted, but they must be on leashes. Trail users are required to pack out their own trash. Camping is available at several locations along Hood Canal. The closest campground is Collins Campground. An earthcache is located at Ranger Hole. For more information, visit geocaching.com.