Just south of the town of Montesano, where the forested hills fade into the Chehalis River Valley, the final stretch of the wild and wonderful Wynoochee River can be accessed at Twin Bridges County Park. Here, you’ll find a wide array of outdoor activities, sure to please the entire family. From summer swimming and short walks to viewing seasonal salmon runs and picnicking in the park, this small park right off of Highway 12 is a perfect stop any time of the year. Visiting Twin Bridges County Park is a must for everyone exploring Grays Harbor.
For 60 miles, the weaves down from the southern Olympic Mountains, before joining with the Chehalis on its way to Grays Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. While the Wynoochee is known for being wild, the river is accessible and mostly tame just before it meets with the Chehalis. It is here that you find Twin Bridges County Park. Open only during the day, but free to enter and explore, it is little wonder why this area has been popular for so long.
Twin Bridges has been a local favorite for decades, serving as a fishing hole and swimming spot before the park was remodeled and opened in May of 2016. While it has been known by other names, such as the Elks Picnic Grounds, the moniker Twin Bridges has always been a favorite, because the area is located in close proximity to two bridges that span the river.
Today, Twin Bridges County Park is a family-friendly place to cool off on warm days. The park has access to a slower and more shallow part of the river, giving plenty of space to wade in the water and enjoy the shade from the trees that line the banks. What makes this park so good for those with kids is that along the stretch of river in the park, there are no sharp drop-offs into deep water. Away from the river, a large grassy area is ideal for picnics and enjoying the summer sun. So bring a Frisbee, a book or whatever you need to enjoy the day.
In the late fall months, Twin Bridges is a hotbed of activity, serving as a . While the fishing is good along the Wynoochee for 10 out of 12 months, many locals will tell you that it doesn’t get any better than the fall salmon and winter steelhead found along the river. Even if you don’t fish, fall is a great time to visit Twin Bridges County Park for other reasons. As the temperatures drop, the deciduous trees will change color, making this a great place to see fall colors and collect large, fallen leaves. The region is also good for seasonal birding, as migratory birds will stop here, as well as local eagles, blue herons, ducks and other fowl.
While November, December and January are the wettest months of the year, don’t let that deter you from visiting. In the winter months, a stop to Twin Bridges County Park will reward you with silence and solitude along the river, giving you a chance to enjoy the cloudy days alone or with your family. There is nothing quite as quintessential Grays Harbor as walking along the river in the winter’s mist and fog. The covered picnic area ensures you’ll stay dry the whole time, if you want. Otherwise, wander and explore, keeping an eye out for eagles, fish and the occasional deer.
Once spring rolls around, Twin Bridges County Park is a great place to spend the sunny, warmer days. While Montesano gets around 80 inches of rain each year, and sees roughly , spring has a lot of sunny days too. During those breaks in the weather, wandering the park and along the riverbank will show off seasonal flowers, and will still give you the entire park pretty much to yourself.
Twin Bridges County Park is . Future plans to improve the infrastructure of the already inviting park, potentially including barbecues, interpretive trails with signage, more play areas and possibly even a boat launch. As the park grows, so will the need to stop here each time you drive through. Twin Bridges County Park is a great representation of Grays Harbor’s parks and river access, showcasing the beauty of the region with fun and accessibility. Do not miss this park as you drive through Montesano.