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2/18/2023

5 Great Hiking Trails in Olympia

One of the things that sets the South Sound apart is the many opportunities for outdoor recreation in the area. With its mild climate and abundant natural beauty, Olympia is an ideal location for walking and hiking enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a short, quick hike with kids or novice hikers, or you’re looking to push yourself a bit, there are trails for all kinds of explorers in the area. Here are five of Olympia’s best hiking trails.

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Watershed Park

Watershed Park is a 153-acre park located in the southern part of Olympia. It is a popular destination for hikers and walkers due to its diverse terrain, including forests, wetlands, and streams. The park has several well-marked trails, ranging from easy to moderate difficulty. The Watershed Park Loop Trail is the most popular route, which is a 1.5-mile loop that takes hikers through lush forests and over bridges spanning streams.

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McLane Creek Nature Trail

The McLane Creek Nature is part of a large network of trails in the Capital Forest. The 3.6-mile trail winds through the McLane Creek Nature Area, and is particularly popular among birdwatchers, as it offers opportunities to spot a variety of bird species, including woodpeckers, kingfishers, and owls. The trail is mostly flat and well-maintained, making it accessible to hikers of all skill levels, and with incredible spectacles like the running salmon in the spring, it’s the perfect trail for kids to explore nature.

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Percival Landing Boardwalk

The Percival Landing Boardwalk is a one-mile boardwalk that follows the shoreline of Olympia's Budd Inlet. This trail is unique in that it offers stunning views of Puget Sound, as well as access to the city's waterfront parks and downtown area. Along the way, hikers can take a break and enjoy the views from one of the many benches or stop at one of the local cafes or shops.

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Capitol Lake Loop

Often used for large-scale community events like Lakefair, the Capitol Lake Loop is a 2.2-mile loop around Capitol Lake and is a popular destination for walkers, joggers, and picnickers. The loop offers stunning views of the Washington State Capitol building and the surrounding mountains. The trail is mostly flat and paved, making it accessible to hikers of all skill levels.

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Priest Point Park

Just outside the downtown Olympia area lies Squaxin Park, a 314-acre park filled with a rose garden, an amazing playground, and walking trails that lead to the beat. The park features over seven miles of well-maintained trails, including both forested and waterfront paths. The park's most popular trail is the Woodland Trail, which is a 1.3-mile loop that takes hikers through the park's forested areas.

A Great Place to Get Out and Explore

Olympia offers a wide variety of walking trails that are perfect for hikers of all skill levels. From forests to waterfront paths, there is something for everyone in Olympia's outdoor recreation areas. Whether you are a local or a visitor, taking a stroll on one of these beautiful trails is a great way to appreciate the natural beauty of this area.

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