Summer in Thurston County
As I write this post, it is 91 degrees. Summer has arrived in Olympia… it’s time to go to the park, by bus!
Summer encourages Olympians to seek outdoor adventures. With that in mind, here are some ideas for trails and parks in the greater Olympia area, and how to get there via Intercity Transit bus. All Intercity Transit buses (including the Dial-a-Lift vans) have bikes racks, so take your bike to expand your adventures.
For detailed route and destination information, please go to the Intercity Transit website at: www.intercitytransit.com
Have fun exploring our amazing community!
Long Lake Park 2790 Carpenter Road, Lacey Route 68
285 feet of lakefront; one of the best swimming beaches in the County. The park includes picnic shelters, sand volleyball courts, and trails through shadowed woods.
Yauger Park 3100 Capital Mall Drive, Olympia Routes 44, 45, 47, 48, 49
40 acre Yauger Park features picnic areas, nature trails, playground equipment, ball fields, horseshoes, skateboard court, and disc (Frisbee) golf course. Something for everyone!
Woodland Creek Park 6729 Pacific Avenue SE, Lacey Route 67
72 acres of grassy open space, including picnic shelters, restrooms and walking paths. Youth age 14 and under can fish in the pond for free.
Tumwater Falls Park 110 Deschutes Way, Tumwater Routes 12 or 13
The park’s natural wonder is the Deschutes River falling 82 feet to Capitol Lake. This 15 acre park is maintained by the Olympia Tumwater Foundation (www.olytumfoundation.org) and features ½ miles of trails and bridges over the river, picnic areas, lawns, restrooms, and playground equipment.
Heritage Park Fountain 330 5th Avenue SW near Olympia Transit Center
This wading and splashing fountain is popular for all ages. It is located across 5th Avenue from Capitol Lake, within a few blocks of the Olympia Transit Center. The Fountain does not operate on Wednesday, and has two shut-down periods during each day in order to properly maintain the fountain’s water quality. There are benches and a grass picnic area.
Chehalis-Western Trail (for walking or biking)
This 22 mile trail is the former Chehalis-Western Rail bed, built by the Weyerhaeuser Company to transport logs to Puget Sound. Access points are numerous, such as:
Chambers Lake 14th Avenue, Lacey Route 64
Restrooms and picnic tables are located here.
Martin Way pedestrian overpass Routes 62 A or B
Access from South Sound Mall, or Martin Way 1 ½ blocks west of Sleater Kinney
Olympia-Yelm Highway overpass Routes 94, 64, 66, 68
The overpass is west of the William A. Bush Park (which has playground equipment and picnic area), about two blocks west of the College Street/Rich Road/Olympia Yelm Highway intersection. This entry point is about 2 ½ miles from the Chambers Lake trailhead.
Olympia Woodland Trail Route 60
Access to this fairly new trail is at 1600 Eastside Street SE, at the intersection of Eastside and Wheeler. The 2.5 mile trail is ADA accessible and features benches, picnic shelter, restrooms and over 12,000 native trees and shrubs. The trail connects with the Chehalis Western Trail in Lacey.
This former rail bed 14.5 mile trail connects Yelm, Rainier, and Tenino. The trail runs parallel to Highway 507. The trail begins near Yelm City Hall (Intercity Transit Route 94), and ends at Tenino City Park. The Yelm trail head features picnic tables and trail information.
For more information about the Chehalis-Western Trail or the Yelm-Tenino Trail, see: www.co.thurston.wa.us/parks/trail
Additional city parks information can be found at: