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parks in olympia
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4/23/2024

Hidden Gems of Thurston County Parks: Friendly Grove and Kennydale Park

Thurston County is no stranger to great parks and recreational spaces. Amidst the sprawling landscapes of Olympia and Tumwater, homes lie remarkable pocket parks waiting to be used. Forget the busyness of regional parks like Squaxin Park, Tolmie State Park, or Rainier Vista; it's time to explore some of our smaller parks.

Friendly Grove Park in Olympia

Friendly Grove Park is the quintessential Neighborhood park, tucked away on Olympia's eastside. For families seeking a shaded spot for a playdate, the playground at Friendly Grove has been updated and is ready for little adventurers. There are slides, swings, climbing gyms, and plenty of benches for parents to watch their little ones.

The array of activities extending beyond the children's play area makes Friendly Grove even more special. A half-court-sized basket area, a small skate park, and a tennis court can also be used for pickleball. The covered picnic area is perfect for hosting parties or acting as ground zero for a full day at the park. Bring your child's bike or scooter and ride around the paved walking path.

If you're not aware of this park, then check it out. It is located in Olympia's Eastside neighborhood at 2316 Friendly Grove Rd NE.

Kennydale Park in Olympia

On the shores of Black Lake lies Kennydale Park. Though not as tucked away as Friendly Grove Park, this 40-acre park offers two area distinct areas. There is a waterfront portion as well as an inland section. The park caters to fitness enthusiasts with a well-maintained running track where locals put their stamina to the test. The track is a half mile around, perfect for those time trials. The running track circles two ball fields and a playground. There is plenty of parking unless you come during a busy baseball game, so you should be able to find a spot.

Across the street is the waterfront section. It sits on the shores of Black Lake and offers a narrow strip down to a dock and swimming area. You can enjoy more picnic areas, restrooms, and other playgrounds on this site. You can also walk the trails and paths down to the water. The trails wind through the trees, offering an escape into nature or a fun place for the kids to play and let their imaginations run wild.

To find this park, Follow Tropser Road and Black Lake Belmore Road. Located at 6745 SW Fairview Rd., Olympia, this park is not far from local neighborhoods.

Planning Your Visit

Both parks are open to the public and have maintained amenities and facilities. From restrooms to picnic areas, each park ensures that your visit is not just a brush with nature but a day full of memories waiting to be made. Exploring and appreciating these smaller parks can lead to a deep sense of local pride and connection with the Thurston County community around you. Take a day, an hour, or even just a few minutes to visit these unsung parks of Olympia. You might find that the simple joys they afford are everything you need to feel refreshed, renewed, and more connected to the world.

Whether you're planning a leisurely day out with your family, seeking a spot for your morning run, or simply craving a quiet moment with nature, these parks in Olympia are the perfect venues for making lasting memories. Their proximity to local neighborhoods makes them an appealing aspect of community life for residents. If you're considering moving to an area filled with beautiful parks and a sense of community, don't hesitate. Contact a local agent at Olympic Sotheby’s International Realty. They possess the expertise and local knowledge to help you find a home in your ideal neighborhood, ensuring you're never far from the natural beauty and recreational opportunities these parks offer.

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