Image by Ken Lund
Forks is a city in Clallam County, Washington, United States. The population was 3,120 at the 2000 census. It is named after the forks in the nearby Quillayute, Bogachiel, Calawah, and Sol Duc rivers.
For many years, the city’s economy was fueled by the local timber industry. With recent declines in the industry, however, Forks has had to rely on the nearby Clallam Bay Correctional Center and Olympic Corrections Center as a source of jobs. Forks is a popular destination for sport fishers who fish for salmon and rainbow trout in nearby rivers. It is also supported by visitors to Olympic National Park. Forks is the primary setting for the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.
On the South end of town is the Forks Timber Museum. Constructed in 1990 by the Forks High School carpentry class, the 3,200-square-foot (300 m2) building provides a fascinating look back into the local history of the timber industry, loggers of the past and their tools of the trade. The museum has exhibits depicting local history dating back to the 1870s.
Forks serves as the hub for numerous day excursions to the Hoh Rainforest, the Pacific Beaches, and various wilderness trails. The Forks Chamber of Commerce can provide visitors with additional details. In addition, the Olympic National Park’s Visitor Center can provide NPS and USFS related information to help plan a trip – permits can also be obtained there as well.
A large percentage of Forks visitors are fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series who seek the attractions mentioned in the novels, and other related places such as La Push and Port Angeles. The town has embraced fans of the books and its newfound popularity. Local restaurants have added "Twilight-themed" options to their menus, and the local hospital has reserved a parking space for "Dr. Cullen" (Twilight).
Forks is well known for its winter steelhead trout fishing with the Quillayute river system – the Hoh, Sol Duc, Bogachiel and Calawah rivers. Other nearby Clallam, Sekiu and Hoko rivers are also good for king salmon fishing and steelheading as well.
Local guides are available for both native and hatchery runs and for float trips. Fishing gear and clothing is available at local stores.
Forks Washington has a display of one of a very few Shay engines remaining in Washington.
In the Summer, Forks hosts its traditional "Old Fashioned Fourth of July" celebration with a Grand Fourth of July Parade with plenty of events to go to, including a demolition derby and a great fireworks display. July is also the month for Quileute Days at La Push with its parade, traditional salmon bake, bone games, softball tournament, canoe races, and street fair. In August, the Forks Family Festival combines arts and crafts vendors with children activities for a truly family oriented event.
The young adult Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer takes place in Forks. The main character, Bella Swan, reluctantly goes to Forks to spend some time with her dad, and visits real places in the town, like La Push. The series has drawn an unusual amount of attention to Forks. According to Meyer, she didn’t visit Forks until after Twilight was published and chose the town because it is said to be one of the rainiest places in the United States. She later visited Forks and was captivated by the beauty of the scenery surrounding it. She said it was so close to her Forks that it was as if she had stepped into the books, and she kept expecting Edward or Bella (the protagonists of her series) to walk around the corner.