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Census-designated place (CDP)
State Route 3 through Belfair
|• Total||44.9 sq mi (116 km2)|
|• Density||88/sq mi (34/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)|
|GNIS feature ID||1516383|
Belfair is a census-designated place in Mason County, Washington, United States. Located at the mouth of the Union River at Hood Canal, it serves as the commercial center of North Mason County. The population of the surrounding area swells in the summertime as tourists and nature lovers flock to the Canal and the Olympic Peninsula. The population was 3,931 at the 2010 census.
Belfair is located on an isthmus connecting the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula. It receives an average rainfall of 60 inches (1,500 mm) yearly and has a growing season of 212 days with final spring frost around April 20 usually.
Mason Lake is 8 miles (13 km) southwest of Belfair.
Belfair is the home of former U.S. Representative Norm Dicks. Belfair was also home to Noah Ashenhurst, formerly an English teacher at North Mason High School and award-winning author of the novel Comfort Food. Belfair is also the hometown of 6 Time AMA National Champion Jason Raines and the Illustrator of numerous children's books Daniel Lane.
Belfair was originally called Clifton, as were several other towns in the state. To avoid confusion, it was renamed in 1925 by Mrs. Murray, the postmaster, who submitted the name Belfair from a book that she was then reading.
Belfair is home to "The Taste of Hood Canal", an annual event falling on the second Saturday in August. This festival features local artists, foods, a classic car show and is sponsored by the North Mason Rotary Club.
Belfair has two high schools (North Mason High School and James A. Taylor High School, an alternative school), a middle school (Hawkins Middle School), two elementary schools (Sand Hill Elementary (located on Sand Hill Road) and Belfair Elementary (located across from the Mary E. Theler Community Center in town)), and a co-op preschool.
Belfair is the regional service hub for North Mason County. Harrison Hospital operates an urgent care facility in Belfair. Local doctor offices are in the area along with other professional services. The area has local and chain restaurants along with two major grocery stores (QFC, which specializes in food, and Safeway). Local shopping includes gift stores. Timberland Regional Library has a local branch in Belfair. Several public golf courses are nearby, including McCormick Woods, Gold Mountain, Alderbrook, Trophy Lake, Horseshoe Lake, and Lakeland Village. Gold Mountain is ranked on the top 100 list of public courses.
Also in Belfair is the Mary E. Theler Community Center. The Theler Wetlands have walking trails meandering through 135 acres (0.55 km2) of tidal wetlands, offering boardwalks and well-groomed paths with scenic views of Hood Canal, Union River, and a tidal estuary. Birders flock to the area to view kingfishers, herons, bald eagles and other birds. The wetlands and surrounding lowland forest are also home to foxes, deer, and other creatures. Other nature trails are behind Belfair Elementary, open dawn to dusk. Local vendors, farmers, and crafters can be found every Saturday at the "Belfair Saturday Market" during the spring/summer months in the Belfair Elementary parking lot.
Washington State Route 3 is the main road leading into Belfair, from Bremerton and Gorst in the north, and Allyn in the south. Washington State Route 106 also starts at the south end of Belfair, leading toward Union, the next town along the south shore of Hood Canal. Washington State Route 300 begins in Belfair and runs along the north shore of Hood Canal, providing access to Tahuya and Dewatto Bay.
Belfair serves as a gateway town for the Hood Canal region, and is the last town with services before visitors reach Tahuya State Forest, famed for its miles of off-road vehicle and mountain biking trails.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Belfair.|