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A Guide To Olympia WA Parks and Trails

Soak in Some Nature While Staying Close to Home: A Guide to the Olympia Outdoors

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Whether you’re coming to Olympia, WA for the first time, are just starting to explore what the Pacific Northwest outdoors has to offer, or are a local outdoor enthusiast looking for some new spots, this list of parks and trails near Olympia, WA has you covered. 

You’re about to discover Capitol Lake, Percival Landing, Millersylvania State Park, Twin Barns Trail, and more. And once you’ve heard about these top local spots for outdoor recreation, you’ll be itching to explore. 

Capitol Lake 

The city of Olympia, Washington boasts more than 900 acres of parks and trails, including urban greenways and forests. These parks provide a variety of recreational opportunities, from neighborhood nature trails to sprawling, immersive forests. 

But in terms of recreation and relaxation opportunities in the city of Olympia, Capitol Lake tops the list.

The full Capitol Lake trail is a 1.7-mile adventure that loops the downtown area and provides views of the state capitol building. The trail connects with nearby Heritage Park and Marathon Park, giving you access to these other spots to explore. 

Percival Landing

You can find plenty of outdoor activities at Percival Landing Park in Olympia, Washington. Its location in Olympia makes it a great option for a picnic. The park features a waterfront with a number of hiking and biking trails. Percival Landing also offers fishing and boating.

Percival Landing is one of three waterfront parks in Olympia, Washington. It is located on the eastern edge of Budd Bay, on the southern tip of Puget Sound. The 0.9-mile boardwalk, picnic areas, and giant carved Orca are among the recreational attractions found at Percival Landing that make it a go-to destination for locals looking to take a casual walk and enjoy the water not far from their home. 

Millersylvania State Park 

Millersylvania State Park is an eight-mile drive south of the city of Olympia on Deep Lake. It features 903 acres of land with old-growth trees and over three hundred feet of freshwater shoreline. Millersylvania is open to the public for recreational and scenic use. 

You can enjoy hiking, fishing, boating, and other water activities while you're there, with over 8.1 total miles of hiking trails. Several of these trails intertwine to form looping courses up to five miles long. The park welcomes dogs leashed on the trails, making it a pet-friendly option for your furry friends who need a little time in the sun. 

Twin Barns Trail 

Not far from Olympia you’ll find the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for animals and a scenic trail spot for Washingtonians looking for a little time out in nature. Twin Barns Trail and Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk are two of Olympia's most popular hiking trails, both located within the refuge. 

The trails you'll find here are out and back trails with hardly any elevation change, making them an easy option for all skill levels. Hikers love to take these trails for a nature trip or bird-watching. Pro tip for any birders out there: a half-mile hike from the Twin Barns Boardwalk takes you to Twin Barns Observation Platform, where you can easily view the hundreds of species of birds, amphibians, and mammals that call this refuge home. 

From standout hiking trails to historic landmarks and museums: there are plenty of reasons to love the greater Olympia, Washington area. Have you hit up these trails and are wondering what to do next? Check out our guide to living in Lacey, WA, Olympia’s nextdoor neighbor and a beautiful destination for wining, dining, and living in a scenic part of the Pacific Northwest.

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