All Aboard the Shellfish Trail

Like shellfish? Then the Washington Shellfish Trail is where to start your next journey. Since 2017, volunteers have been working with folks that grow, cook, and display shellfish to create a fun trail that bivalve enthusiasts can follow to explore all that is shellfish in Washington.


Did you know that the North Bay WDFW property boasts the largest population of Olympia oysters in Puget Sound? How about that Chelsea Oyster Farm has an award winning oyster bar in Olympia’s waterfront core featuring Totten oysters grown in Mason County?

Similar to the wine trails of Eastern Washington, the shellfish trail will bring you from the Columbia River north to the Canadian border and explore not only Washington’s famous oysters, but also clams, geoduck, and mussels. Visit farms, gather your own shellfish off public beaches and attend events that embrace this resource, like OysterFest, (October 5-6, Shelton). The Washington Shellfish Trail will guide you on your year-round journey.

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Understanding the role of shellfish in our communities is essential to the long term health of our shellfish resources.  The trail emphasizes the interconnectedness of aquaculture within rural communities and the value of shellfish to our well being. 

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The shellfish trail is a project sponsored by the National Sea Grant Program and was developed by Image In Action Design and Washington Sea Grant. Through a partnership with the mapping and itinerary capabilities of ScenicWA, followers of the trail are able to select geographical tour or focus on one specific type of shellfish. 

Building upon the other Washington trail systems such as the Strait of Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway, all of the stops include specific points of interest and learning opportunities that will enhance your adventure. This and more are highlighted features on the trail. Like OysterFest, (October 5-6, Shelton) water quality and safe shellfish handling are also prominent themes.

Want to see more? Stop by the oversized shellfish frame just inside the front gate at OysterFest to catch your family shot in this giant frame and tag your visit on Facebook at #shellfishtrail.

Look over shellfishtrail.org to learn more about the Washington shellfish trail including information on itineraries, road trips and shellfish sites and events  you can enjoy. 

Rachel Hansen