Enjoyable hike accomplishing two primary goals: escape the marine layer and loop over Mt Townsend connecting back via the Silver Lakes Way Trail.
The drive from sea level did not inspire, there was almost no visibility on the Hood Canal Bridge and it rained for a decent part of the drive. Finally, as we drove the final few miles to the trailhead we ascended above the marine layer and we enjoyed sun and blue skies the remainder of the day (well, until we drove home).
Leaving from the upper trailhead we hiked over the summit of Mt Townsend and continued until we connected with the Little Quilcene River Trail #835. The trail descends, steeply, to FR 2870 which is a lightly used road which has more trail than road feel. A short walk on the road leads to the Silver Lakes Way Trail (new signage makes it easy to find). This is quite the trail, it's all roots, rocks, and steep climbing. At one point my showed the grade to be 46%!
The way trail leads to the connector trail to the Silver Lakes making for an exceptionally nice loop trail by taking the Mt Townsend Trail #839 (the same hiked to Mt Townsend) back to the original trailhead.
By the numbers, 5h15 minutes, 17 miles, and 5700 feet of elevation gain.