Our area features literally dozens of parks, trails and nature reserves. We love them for different reasons. Some are an easy stroll, while others offer access to wildlife. We are confident no matter what you enjoy there will be a place to walk that you will enjoy. So here are ten walking locations in the Olympia, Washington area that you might find enjoyable:
- Capitol Lake/ Marathon Park: This area includes a 1.6-mile walking trail that circles the scenic lake and offers views of the state capitol building. Along with great views, there are plenty of places to sit and people watch.
- Percival Landing Park: This is a downtown destination, featuring a boardwalk along the shore of Budd Inlet, offering views of the city, capital building, and boats. The walk guides you past and near many restaurants, as well as a connection to other sites Olympia has to offer, including the farmers market at one end and the capital campus at the other. It also features rotating artwork from local artists.
- Brewery Park (formerly Tumwater Falls Park): Just down the road from the Capitol Lake, or a longer walk besides the river (which looks more like a second lake sitting above capital lake). This park offers a shaded loop trail along the Deschutes River, with several rapid areas and the spectacular waterfall at the bottom of the loop. In autumn you may even see salmon returning and attempting to jump up the falls and using the fish ladders.
- Squaxin Park (formerly known as Priest Point Park): This city park contains many trails that lead to the water. Walking the trails of this park will lead you on an enjoyable stroll through the forest, connecting to a rose garden bursting with color and fragrance. Not in the mood for a walk just yet? The area also hosts a great number of picnic shelters and places to relax.
- Chehalis Western Trail: This trail is a former railway line that has been converted into a walking and biking path. It spans over 20 miles through rural areas and forests. Running north/south you can reach it via the Woodland Trail which is close to the Inn. This also doubles as a fantastic place to ride bikes (remember we offer eBike Rentals!).
- Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area: This preserve offers a network of trails through a forested wetland, with views of Puget Sound and wildlife viewing opportunities. The abandoned railway trestle was left to house a bat colony of over 40,000 bats. It features an open air interpretive center that explains how the area was once a log dump. It is also accessible from the end of the Chehalis Western Trail. Note that if you drive and park it is notorious for car break ins. Do not let that put you off, just be smart and do not leave any items visible on your car seats. It is one of our favorite places to go for a hike.
- Capitol State Forest: This working forest features a network of trails through a diverse landscape of forests, fields, and streams. The system is also home to a multitude of mountain bikers and horse riders, so be prepared to share the trails.
- Saint Martin’s University: This university campus features walking paths and gardens, with views of the Olympic Mountains. A benediction monastery still operates on the campus.
- LBA Park: This park features a playground with baseball and soccer fields. Around the rim of the park is a lovely scenic trail. It also provides access to the LBA woods, something the citizens of Olympia fought hard to protect from development.
- Watershed Park: Across the street from an entrance to the Woodland Trail, on Eastside Street, the woods showcase a trail loop with many entrances and exits around the area. Take a hike through the rich natural environment that even has a small salmon run. It is close enough to the Inn to walk to.
If none of these walk and hikes sound appealing we can definitely recommend at least another ten. Just ask us!