Valley View Forest

Less than two miles south of Chimacum Corner, this 65-acre working forest greatly benefits the surrounding community, providing replenishment of ground water to support nearby farms, homes, and endangered salmon in Chimacum Creek and other native wildlife. The forest also reduces runoff from the hillside during heavy rains. Even better, this property in north Center Valley serves as the gateway to a much larger vision.

Our vision is to retain regional working forest lands in perpetuity, to be managed for a balance of sustainable timber production, wildlife habitat, recreation, and educational uses.

Valley View Forest in Chimacum

We welcome you to explore this critical “gateway” forest that will eventually link Center Road to the adjoining landmark property, Chimacum Ridge, which the Land Trust purchased in late 2023, with plans to to transform it into a community forest that’s managed, designed, and directed by the community.

Click here for directions, a map and field guide, and visitor information.

To learn more about Valley View Forest’s significance to the Chimacum watershed and our long-term community forest goals, check out this video featuring Stewardship Director Erik Kingfisher.

A Bird’s Eye View

Loop trail with fall leaves

Fall leaves are scattered along the loop trail at Valley View Forest.

Nestled between Chimicum Ridge, Center Road, and the rich agricultural valley below, lies Valley View Forest.

A resilient and diverse forest of western red cedar and Douglas fir combine with bigleaf maple, sword fern, and huckleberry to create a thriving, dynamic landscape. The lush understory provides critical habitat for local wildlife, including coyote, Columbia black-tailed deer, and bobcat; and the forest offers refuge to a variety of birds. Tributaries that feed the west fork of Chimicum Creek flow through the forest on their way to the vibrant agricultural valley floor below, where the Land Trust has worked with many local landowners and a host of partners to protect farmland and creekside properties, as well as to restore habitat for endangered salmon.

The Preservation Story

The 65-acre Valley View Forest was purchased in late 2018 from the Short Family. Jefferson Land Trust was in the first phases of protecting the adjacent Chimacum Ridge forest from development in partnership with the Navy, Trust for Public Land, and the state legislature, when the opportunity to purchase Valley View Forest arose. Recognizing the ecological significance of the property, and its importance as a critical connecting parcel between Chimacum Ridge and Center Road that offered the potential of future public access to the ridge above, the Land Trust moved quickly to acquire it.

In this working forest, we plan to demonstrate selective harvest forest management, while also providing healthy wildlife habitat, public access, and educational opportunities that were shaped in consultation with the wider community through stakeholder tours and meetings. This forest also provides long-term benefits to the surrounding community, helping replenish groundwater to support nearby farmers and homeowners.

The Protected Property Today

Fall foliage

Because of the many big leaf maple trees fall is a nice time to visit Valley View Forest.

The Valley View Forest features hiking trails, nature viewing areas, and an outdoor classroom (nature studies area) rich with opportunities for school field trips and place-based education. Our community forest will model selective harvest forestry, contributing to the community’s economic vitality and the preservation of our rural landscapes and way of life.

One perennial and two seasonal streams on the property collect and filter water and important nutrients, releasing them to the valley farmland and Chimacum Creek below. Chimacum Creek, which is fed in part by runoff from Valley View Forest, provides spawning and rearing habitat for endangered salmon species.

Our Vision for this Special Place

Our long-term vision for Valley View Forest is to combine it with the larger Chimacum Ridge Forest when we purchase those 853 acres in 2023. Eventually, Valley View Forest will serve as the entrance to a vibrant working community forest with recreation and education opportunities. We seek to manage the forest in a way that provides long-term economic, cultural, and social benefits, and supports a rich diversity of species, and we are involving the wider community in decision-making and planning.

Special Thanks

Volunteer working on the trail

Volunteers were critical in planning and building the trails at Valley View Forest.

Jefferson Land Trust offers special thanks for the support and partnership of the Valley View Family Trust, US Navy, US Forest Service Federal Community Forest Program, Washington State Legislature, Jefferson County Conservation Futures Fund, Hama Hama Company, Cross Charitable Foundation, an anonymous foundation, Horizons Foundation, Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, James D. Scheinfeld Family Foundation, Trust for Public Land, Chimacum Corner Farmstand, and Finnriver Farm & Cidery.

We’re also deeply grateful to many individual community members for their generous personal gifts, hundreds of volunteer hours, and enthusiastic participation in helping shape the future of this community forest resource.