Gnome Village – Federation Forest, WA

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Gnome Village (aka “Hobbit Village”) is a tiny community of houses located along a hiking trail in Federation Forest State Park, Washington. The park has a 1,650 feet elevation and 12 miles of trails on 619 acres of old growth evergreens with some 18,000 feet of shoreline along the White River. It is a perfect picnic spot on the way to visit Mt. Rainier.

To get to the Gnome Village drive state Route 410 east from Enumclaw about 18 miles to the Catherine Montgomery Interpretive Center parking area at mile post 41. The area has a gift shop, picnic areas and restrooms. Guided ranger tours can be arranged in spring/summer seasons. The center is closed in winter, but the trails are open year round.

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Traveling through dense stands of towering old-growth evergreens dripping with thick moss, hikers move toward the Naches Trail, Wind in the Woods Loop Trail and Esther Maltby Trail that head west from the center. Then follow the West Loop trail to the Nature Trail and through the Greenlees Grove and toward the highway parking area. This will lead you to the Gnome Trail and the Gnome Village.

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Upon arriving at Gnome Village hikers will find tiny habitations of gnomes, hobbits (a mailbox reads: “Hobbit Hollow”) and fairies found at ground level filled with wee tables and chairs, a tiny hammock, a miniature outhouse, and micro gardens. Kids can open small doors, peer into windows and leave tiny gifts or notes for its diminutive residents.

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The houses are maintained by a mysterious group of local hikers. To the Gnome Village and back, expect to cover about 4.5 miles of easy trail.

NOTE: Federation Forest State Park runs between the Chinook Scenic Byway and the White River, within Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest. The park lies along part of the historic Naches Trail, an ancient Native American route through the Cascade Mountains, connecting the various Salish people on the west side to the Yakima people on the east side of the mountains.

Originally called “The Big Tree Park,” the park was acquired, built, and organized through the work of Catherine Montgomery, a pioneer in education with a passion for conservation and her affiliation with the Washington State Federation of Women’s Clubs. Acquired in four parcels from 1941 to 1971, the park was dedicated in 1949 by Governor Langley.

Gnome Village (aka “Hobbit Village”)
Federation Forest State Park
c/o The Interpretive Center
49201 Highway 410 East
Enumclaw, WA 98022 (King County)

Federation Forest State Park  (Website)
Hobbit Village (Photos)

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About

Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Gardens and Nature Trails, Parks - State and National

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