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The Land of Paradise

The Promised Land campground and trails happens to be where I found myself the other day. It's located off highway 101 between Humptulips and Amanda Park, WA. There are no signs or markers and honestly, it's pretty easy to drive right by without even noticing that it's there. In fact, I've driven by several times before really seeing that it was there but this time I did spot it and lucky for me I had time to stop and explore. As your traveling down highway 101 there is just a roadside turn out leading to the entrance of the campground. With no signs you just kind of have to know it's there otherwise you'll fly right by. The entrance to the campground is blocked off by a simple blue gate with a sign reading "Closed for the winter" however I think that particular winter came and went several years ago.

As you step around the gate you'll see that the campground forms a half circle around a creek fed pond which according a sign I found is a spawning area for trout, salmon, and steelhead. I saw no fish or wildlife of any kind actually. Other than the random car going down the road it was eerily quiet and still. It reminded of a scene from one of the many end of the world or zombie games I've played. There are a few signs that people do stop by as I found someone's fleece hat laying on a table and of course the odd liquor bottle but most of the place looks like it hasn't been touched in years. The picnic tables are being reclaimed by the forest and covered in moss or just plain rotting away. When wandering around these types of places I often wonder about the people that stayed and played here along with all the family memories that were probably made while sitting around a campfire. 

Walking past the restrooms which are not padlocked shut with a pair of rusty master locks you can see the open areas where people could have pulled their cars into camp, as well as more moss covered picnic tables. Towards the back end I found what once was a trailhead leading off into the woods. I have no idea where it goes and with no trail maintenance it was pretty well covered in downed tree limbs. I looked for information on when the place opened or closed but couldn't find much other than it was provided by Rayonier Forestry company which may be the reason it's no longer open as they are starting to log timber just down the road, either way it's a sad end to what was probably a very happy place.