Explore the best trails near Olympia with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
dogs on leash
A pleasant location to get out and see nature. Easily accessible for all. I encountered young children, elderly, and wheelchair bound explorers on the main trails around the ponds. During the months of November and December follow the signs to watch the Salmon Spawning in the McLane Creek. The weather isn't always the best for hiking at this time of year, but to see the salmon makes it worth the discomfort.
If you are in Tumwater, this is worth the stop. The falls are more like a tourist attraction than a hike. Paved parking lot, handicap accessible at the upper falls, good for all ages and fitness levels. Late summer, early autumn visitors can see the salmon try to jump the falls to get upstream for spawning. My kids enjoyed it.
The sign in the parking lot had a map and brief description of the area and trails. I hiked the 1.5 mile forest loop trail that consist of boardwalks, stairs, and ground. It is well maintained. Looking out at the Puget Sound from the Woodard Bay peninsula was my highlight. It was very peaceful. Numerous waterfowl and a couple harbor seals seemed to be the only things moving. I walked back 3/4 mile on Whitham Road to the parking lot. This road is blocked off to vehicular traffic and is ideal for strollers, wheelchairs, and anyone who doesn't want to walk in the woods but likes nature. I then drove across the bridge to the Chehalis Western Trail parking lot. Overlook Trail is a 1 mile crushed rock that starts at this parking lot and ends "overlooking" Woodard Bay. Not much more to it today. It was simply nice to be outside in the sunshine. I plan on a return trip this summer when the seals are birthing on the beaches of this conservation area.