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5 Amazing Parks in the Olympia Area

Thurston County is known for many things. Whether it‚Äôs the pristine grounds of the Capitol Campus, the diverse restaurant options, or the breathtaking views of Puget Sound, the Olympia area has something for everyone. The local parks in Olympia offer family fun with picturesque natural settings. 


Andi Rhodes-Springer has been an agent with Greene Realty Group since 2014 and prides herself on high-end customer service. She, her daughter Sammy and hubby Danny have visited countless parks in Olympia and beyond. She understands the importance of parks and recreation to the community. 

“I think our parks are a great way to hang out carefree and explore what the NW has to offer,” she says. “It’s the easiest way to have fun."

She believes there are five parks that stand out from the rest. 


Tolmie State Park

Set on a spit in a cove, Tolmie State Park is remarkably close to Olympia, Tacoma, and the communities in between. The area is filled with families on summer weekends, but it can be quiet during the week, and its shaded trails provide more than three miles of hiking. A beautiful dock juts out of the woods and onto a beach teeming with sea life. 

“There are endless amounts of creatures down at the beach, trails of live sand dollars, moon snails, and shellfish for harvesting, to name a few!” Andi says. “It’s a great day for picnicking and discovering what’s alive in our Sound."

A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks for day use. Please visit the Discover Pass webpage for more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions. 


McLane Nature Trail

Another local park that provides a snapshot of the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest is McLane Nature Trail. The trail is a part of the vast Capital Forest and offers a low-impact hike that takes an hour to complete and is perfect for viewing wildlife. Visitors can also check out the beaver pond area which is sure to appeal to kids.

“It’s a great place to walk and explore with the kiddos,” Andi says. “It’s an easy, level walk.”

The walk might be nice and average, but nature is anything but. 

“The trail is alive with activity,” Andi says. “You can watch the turtles sunbathe, see the newts or enjoy the salmon run.”

A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks for day use. Please visit the Discover Pass webpage for more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions. 


Woodard Bay Conservation Area

Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area was designated by the legislature in 1987 and provides a habitat for multiple indigenous birds and other animals. Three major hiking trails weave throughout the preserve, highlighting the spectacular view of Woodard Bay and the vibrant wildlife of the area. The park is home to harbor seals, bald eagles, and a large colony of bats. 

“The bat habitat is at the end of the pier,” Andi reminisces. “We like to wait until the sun goes down and watch the bats come out.”

A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks for day use. Please visit the Discover Pass webpage for more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions. 


Percival Landing

Located in the heart of Downtown Olympia, Percival Landing is a perfect park for families looking to take in the flavor of our unique city. The park lies directly across the street from the Olympia Community Center, filled with engaging playground props and flanked by the waters of the West Bay. 

“It’s a really nice inner-city park,” Andi remarks. “We love grabbing clam chowder at the Olympia Seafood Company with my nieces, nephews, and daughter and going to the park to play.”


Tumwater Historical Park

Very few places are as iconic to the Olympia area as the Tumwater Falls and the Old Olympia Brewery. The Tumwater Historical Park sits at the foot of the brewery building, equipped with kid-friendly playground equipment and a lovely dog park. 

“It’s a great park for everyone; it really brings the wow factor,” Andi says.


Other Amazing Parks and Trails:


Something For Everyone

Whether you like long walks of solitude through nature or family fun, the Olympia area parks provide safe spaces to take in everything Thurston County has to offer.

“Going out to a park or good nature trail can be so relaxing,” Andi jokes. “It’s like doing an hour of yoga.”

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