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Northwest Profile: Lake Cushman

Northwest Profile: Lake Cushman

Northwest Profile: Lake Cushman

Nestled amid the picturesque landscapes of the Pacific Northwest just an hour outside of Olympia, Lake Cushman is a natural gem that has captivated visitors and residents alike for generations. With its shimmering blue waters, towering mountains, and lush forests, the lake's allure goes beyond its scenic beauty. Lake Cushman boasts a rich and fascinating history that weaves together the stories of indigenous tribes, early settlers, and the development of recreational paradises. Its secluded location, incredible natural beauty, and rich history make it the perfect destination for an Olympia summer getaway.

Ancient Origins

Long before European settlers arrived in the region, Lake Cushman and its surroundings were inhabited by Native American tribes, particularly the Skokomish people. They considered the lake and its environs sacred, living in harmony with the land for centuries. The Skokomish cherished abundant natural resources, including the vast forests, pristine waters, and an array of wildlife that sustained their way of life.

Early European Exploration

European explorers and fur traders began arriving in the area during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. However, it was not until the mid-1800s that American settlers established a more permanent presence in the region. Logging became a crucial economic activity, driven by the vast stands of old-growth timber surrounding the lake.

The Shaping of a Recreational Paradise:

As the lake and its surroundings evolved, they began attracting outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers from afar. In the mid-20th century, Lake Cushman emerged as a popular recreational destination. The lake area became a paradise for camping, fishing, water sports, and hiking with the establishment of campgrounds, hiking trails, and boating facilities.

In 1938, the Olympic National Park was established, encompassing a vast area that included Lake Cushman. This designation added protection to the pristine wilderness surrounding the lake, ensuring that future generations could continue enjoying its natural wonders.

Summer at Lake Cushman is a magical time when the landscape comes alive with vibrant colors, and the crystal-clear waters invite visitors to partake in various exciting outdoor activities. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or simply a chance to reconnect with nature, Lake Cushman has something for everyone. Here are some of the most enticing summer activities you can enjoy at this picturesque destination:

Boating and Kayaking:

Lake Cushman is a haven for boating enthusiasts with its nine-mile stretch of pristine waters. Bring your boat or rent one from the marina and explore the various nooks and crannies of the lake. You can also enjoy a leisurely kayak or canoe ride, getting up close to the scenic shoreline and discovering hidden coves and wildlife.

Swimming and Beach Fun:

Lake Cushman's inviting waters beckon swimmers to take a refreshing dip on warm summer days. Several designated swimming areas with sandy beaches are perfect for family fun and picnics. Remember to follow safety guidelines and watch young swimmers, as some parts of the lake may have deeper waters.

Hiking and Nature Trails:

Embark on a journey through the lush wilderness surrounding Lake Cushman by exploring the numerous hiking and nature trails. For a moderately challenging hike, the Mount Ellinor Trail offers breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and the Olympic Mountains. If you prefer a more relaxed walk, the Staircase Rapids Loop Trail takes you on a pleasant journey along the Skokomish River.


Lake Cushman is a fisherman's paradise, boasting abundant fish species such as trout, kokanee salmon, and bass. Cast your line from the shore or venture out on a boat for a day of fishing and serene contemplation. Don't forget to obtain a fishing permit and familiarize yourself with the regulations to help conserve the lake's diverse aquatic life.

Camping and Picnicking:

Pitch a tent at one of the scenic campgrounds near Lake Cushman to experience the beauty of the starlit nights and wake up to the sounds of nature. Many campgrounds offer picnicking facilities so you can enjoy a delightful meal surrounded by stunning landscapes.

Lake Cushman's summer activities cater to all interests, making it a sought-after destination for adventurers, families, and nature lovers alike. Whether you explore the lake by boat, hike the scenic trails, or relax on the sandy beaches, the enchanting beauty and diverse opportunities for fun will undoubtedly create cherished memories that will linger long after your summer days at Lake Cushman have ended.

Living in Lake Cushman

Embrace the spirit of this private community as this estate grants access to a host of amenities. Step into this enchanting estate nestled into the woods of the Lake Cushman Community and call it home, a true masterpiece tucked away on 5+ acres of private serenity, where breathtaking views of Lake Cushman will awaken your soul. This remarkable home seamlessly blends chic, modern updates with the captivating charm of the Pacific Northwest. Want to see more check it out here.

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1722 Harrison Ave NW
Olympia WA 98502


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