The Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail (KCST) is our region’s premiere salmon-viewing experience. Every November, over 5,000 people visit the Trail to learn more about the salmon life cycle and to observe Chum spawning and courting behaviors. Thanks to our volunteer docents, no questions go unanswered and all visitors get a rich Pacific Northwest experience.
In any given year, the spawning salmon population can reach as high as 80,000 fish. Normally, the range is between 20,000 and 40,000. These spawning adults can produce approximately 30 million to 60 million eggs annually; not all eggs will survive to become fry or even adults.
On average, only 2-3 individuals will complete their natural life cycle and return to the natal stream where they were hatched. These dying fish and carcasses are a critical part of salmon’s overall survival strategy.
Access to the trail is FREE for everyone. The Trail is supported directly by visitor donations, the annual fall “Chum, Chowder & Chocolate” fundraiser and small local grants. In 2019, we received $2,500 from the Squaxin Island Tribe, $2,500 from the Community Foundation and $20,000 from The Dawkins Charitable Trust. The land is owned by Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR), who graciously partner with us to bring this unique salmon viewing opportunity to the community.
To find out more about scheduling a field trip or becoming a volunteer, email
From south (i.e. Olympia): Go north on 101. At Milepost 357, turn left onto Old Olympic Highway. Continue on Old Olympic Highway until you see the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail Signs on your left. Go up forest road 2700 for .75 miles. Turn right into the Trail parking lot.
From north (i.e. Shelton): Go south on 101. At Milepost 356, turn right onto Old Olympic Highway. Continue on Old Olympic Highway until you see the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail signs on your right. Go up forest road 2700 for .75 miles. Turn right into the Trail parking lot.
NOTE: NO DOGS are allowed on the trail. Please review our dog policy for more information. Additionally, the gate remains locked during the off season.