Explore the Area
With a current student ID, you have access to the College Recreation Center.
The trail (see trail maps) starts at the back left hand corner of F-lot and takes you to a couple of beautiful Puget Sound beaches.
The 3 acre farm is located on the edge of the Evergreen campus, and available for laboratory use by students pursuing the study and practice of organic and sustainable agriculture. Call 867-6160.
Thurston County and Olympia
Check out the Olympia Visitor and Convention Bureau web site: www.visitolympia.com
Nature is everywhere in the Olympia area. For a list of more local parks contact Thurston County Parks & Recreation, 360-786-5595.
Six miles north of Olympia on Boston Harbor Road. A trail that leads through second growth conifer forest land to a 1,000 foot long pebble beach.
Go to Harrison toward downtown, take right hand split over bridge, 2 mile walk around this lake at the edge of downtown Olympia with views of the Capitol Building and the Olympics.
Take Steamboat Island Road off Highway 101 west of Olympia. The park is six miles north of 101. A beach great for a picnic, two mile long trail through forests and wetlands before reaching the cove, great views of Mount Rainier and Eld Inlet.
There's an entrance to the park located east of Rogers Street between Conger and Madison Streets. trail that leads down through ravine, goes over several bridges and comes out on West Bay Drive. It has tall trees, drooping moss, ferns, vines, and even a colony of mountain beavers.
Located off Mud Bay and Kaiser roads, Grass Lake Park is home to over 200 species of plants and 98 species of birds. The park is on 165 acres of wetlands, coniferous forest, and meadows, and is just down the road from Evergreen.
(In the Capital Forest) Go west out of Olympia on Mud Bay Road and turn left on Delphi Road and travel about six miles. Look for signs. Two paths through the wetlands. 931 Delphi Rd. SW Olympia 98512, 866-9440.
11 miles south of Olympia. Head east on 93rd Avenue South (Exit 99), then south on Tilley Road. Park covers 841 acres of trails winding through it, learning center, campgrounds, swimming beaches. 12245 Tilley Rd S., 753-1519.
Up to 4 mile hikes through the mounds (geographical phenomenon) I-5 South the Little Rock exit, opposite from State Park. How were the mounds created? Visit the interpretive center to read about the different theories, from glacial deposits to giant prehistoric gophers!
Go Mt. Biking in the Capitol Forest
Many roads lead to the Capitol Forest, it's 90,000 acres of single track, logging roads, and trees. We suggest taking Hwy 101 south to the Rock Candy Mountain entrance to find our favorite trails. To purchase a map call DNR’s Photo and Map Sales at (360) 902-1234.
Natural Resource Reserve
Go left on Parkway to Cooper Point, take left on Cooper Point follow for approximately 5-7 miles, look for signs on the right hand side (beautiful drive) 1 mi. Hike through reforested areas (self-guided tour signs)
This park is jammed full of attractions to the average outdoor enthusiast. There are over 175 species of birds, 20,000 ducks, otters, grasslands, mud flats, and fresh water ponds during spring. The park is located at exit 114 off of I-5.
Buy fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and Olympia oysters from the little guy. You can also buy arts and crafts or eat lunch at the market. Open April - October, Thursday - Sunday; November and December weekends only.
Located on Cooper Point Road near Safeway. The park includes 3 feet quarter pipes, right next to a five star with a rail going down the middle. There are also stairs, a 5 foot bowl, and a snake run.
Downtown Olympia on 4th Avenue. A one mile walk around the southernmost tip of Puget Sound, views of the Capitol, Budd Inlet, Mt. Rainier, the Olympic Mountains, and lots of moored boats.
Go north out of downtown on East Bay Drive and turn right at the main entrance. Upper and Lower Nature Trails, beach access.
Take the Marvin Road exit off of I-5, head North on Marvin Road over the freeway, and take a right onto Hogum Bay Rd. Follow the signs. Waterfront on Puget Sound and an underwater marine park. Hiking, swimming, and picnicking are popular activities. 456-6464
The falls are located off of exit #103 on I-5 (next to the now defunct Olympia brewery), the park contains three separate falls.
Go south on Plum Street from downtown Olympia, follow it to the right as it turns into Henderson Blvd., follow it under I-5 and head south about a quarter mile to the parking area and sign. A trail wanders through hillsides, forest, fallen trees, moss, water, nurse logs and ferns.
Do you like wolves? The people at Wolf Haven do. Learn about wolves, and watch them frolic in the 80 acre wolf sanctuary. 3111 Offut Lake Rd., Tenino 264-4695 or (800) 448-9653
From Hwy. 101 take the Black Lake Blvd exit, head north on Black Lake Blvd, turn left on Capital Mall Drive and cross Cooper Point Road. Turn right behind Apple Park apartment complex and look for nature trail signs. (1.5 miles)
Check out the Pacific Coast
Go skiing or snowboarding at Washington's largest ski resort.
There's nothing like it anywhere else in the world. 900,000 acres of temperate rainforest, rivers, rain shadows, alpine meadows, and glacier topped peaks.
This huge attraction to western Washington spans over 235,625 acres, with 97% of that designated as permanent wilderness. You can hike, camp, snowshoe, climb, photography, or just admire the view.
See the result of the largest recent volcanic eruption in North America. Visit the Ape Cave, at 2.4 miles the longest lave tube on the continent. Keep your eyes open for Sasquatch!
Go skiing or snowboarding at the largest night skiing operation in the U.S. They are open in the daytime too.
Go north on Hwy 101 to marked exit, follow signs. There is a dirt road past the state park to Staircase where you will find old growth forest and waterfalls.
Go skiing or snowboarding at one of Washington's least crowded ski areas.
Local Culture & History
Housing residents have recommended these places to learn more about Olympia and to experience local cultures and histories.
- Olympia Film Society 416 Washington Street SE
- Procession of the Species
- Yashiro Japanese Garden Ninth and Plum streets 753-8380
- State Capitol Campus 14th Street and Capitol Way 586-TOUR (8687)
- Crosby House Museum 703 Deschutes Way 943-9884
- Henderson House Museum 602 Deschutes Way 754-4163
- Lacey Historical Museum 829 Lacey St. 491-0857
- Original State Capitol Building 600 S. Washington St. 753-6725
- Olympic Flight Museum 7637A Old Hwy 99 SE 705-3925
- Bigelow House Museum 918 Glass Ave NE 753-1215
- Washington State Capital Museum 211 W. 21st Ave. 753-2580