Tiny Quilcene has a rough-at-the-edges country feeling reminiscent of Northern California. The compact town has simple homes and trailers, piles of split wood in the yards, and smoke curling from the chimneys. Chainsaw carving is considered high art, and the surrounding cutover landscape looks like a bad haircut.
Two miles south is the Quilcene National Fish Hatchery (360/765-3334, open daily, hours vary). The Quilcene Historical Museum (360/765-4848, noon–5 p.m. Fri.–Mon. late Apr.–late Sept.) houses a historic kitchen, old logging and farming tools, and a millinery exhibit.
The Olympic Music Festival (360/732-4800, www.olympicmusicfestival.org ) is a summertime concert series held weekends late June to early September in a century-old barn located 10 miles west of Hood Canal Bridge , off Highway 104. Donkeys wander the grounds as patrons sit on hay bales in the barn listening to chamber music or enjoy picnics outside with mountain (and cow) vistas. The Philadelphia String Quartet and guest artists perform these “Concerts in the Barn” 0.25 mile south of Highway 104 on Center Road.
The Forest Service’s very popular Falls View Campground (877/444-6777, www.recreation.gov,$10; open May–Sept.) is 3.5 miles south of Quilcene and offers 14 RV sites without hookups and 16 tent sites. The half-mile Falls View Canyon Trail drops down to the Big Quilcene River from the campground.
Additional campsites can be found at Lake Leland Park (six miles north of Quilcene, $12, open Apr.–Oct.), a small county facility that has a boat ramp for small boats and a dock, plus a short nature trail.