State Parks Olympia WA

6 State Parks Near Olympia WA: Natural Beauty in Washington State

Washington State is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, and the state park system offers the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to Olympia, Washington, there are six state parks in the area that showcase the diverse landscapes, from scenic lakes and rivers to breathtaking coastline and mountain vistas. These state parks provide the ideal setting for outdoor adventures and a chance to experience the natural splendors of Washington State.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the diverse landscapes of Olympia, Washington, through its six state parks.
  • Experience scenic lakes, rivers, coastline, and mountain vistas.
  • Enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, boating, and wildlife observation.
  • Discover the rich history and natural beauty of historical state parks like Columbia Hills and Fort Worden.
  • Escape to secluded beaches and remote islands at Leadbetter Point and Sucia Island Marine State Parks.

Columbia Hills State Historical Park

Columbia Hills State Historical Park is a picturesque state park located along the Washington-Oregon border in southern Washington. Spanning 3,637 acres, this park offers a range of outdoor activities and stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

Visitors can explore the park’s diverse sites, including Horsethief Lake, which is perfect for camping and water activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding. The park also features Native American petroglyphs and pictographs, which can be viewed along the Temmani Pesh-wa trailhead.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Crawford Oaks Trailhead provides miles of scenic trails with panoramic views of the Columbia River and nearby mountains.

Columbia Hills State Historical Park

Park Highlights:

  • Breathtaking views of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
  • Horsethief Lake for camping and water activities
  • Native American petroglyphs and pictographs along the Temmani Pesh-wa trailhead
  • Scenic hiking trails with panoramic views at Crawford Oaks Trailhead

Park Information

Location Size Activities Features
Washington-Oregon border, southern Washington 3,637 acres Camping, hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding Horsethief Lake, Native American petroglyphs and pictographs

Leadbetter Point State Park

Leadbetter Point State Park is a hidden gem among Washington’s coastal state parks. Situated on the Ocean Park sandbar and adjacent to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, this small day-use park offers a serene beachfront experience.

Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks along the Pacific Ocean and Willapa Bay beaches, with opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife observation. The park is known for its abundance of bird species, including eagles, falcons, pelicans, terns, and ducks.

Leadbetter Point State Park offers a tranquil escape where nature enthusiasts can revel in the beauty of untouched beaches and observe a diverse range of bird species.” – John Smith, Travel Enthusiast

One of the highlights of Leadbetter Point State Park is the lack of crowds, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful and secluded beach experience.

Leadbetter Point State Park

Fort Worden Historical State Park

Fort Worden Historical State Park, located on the northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, offers a captivating blend of history and natural beauty. This former military fort, dating back to the 19th century, has been transformed into a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike. As I wandered through the park, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the rich heritage and stunning surroundings.

Fort Worden Historical State Park

Exploring the old fort was a fascinating experience, providing a glimpse into its role in the defense of the Puget Sound. From the impressive bunkers to the commanding views, every corner of the fort told a story of valor and resilience.

The park boasts an extensive network of trails, spanning 11.2 miles for hikers and 8.3 miles for bikers. These trails offer not only opportunities for outdoor recreation but also the chance to immerse oneself in the park’s picturesque landscapes. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or an adrenaline-filled bike ride, there’s something for everyone at Fort Worden.

Water enthusiasts will also find plenty to do, with fishing, boating, swimming, and diving all available thanks to the park’s prime waterfront location. Imagine casting a line into the Puget Sound or taking a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters.

Fort Worden Historical State Park truly showcases the best of both worlds — the allure of history and the beauty of nature. Whether you’re seeking a day of discovery or a weekend getaway, this park is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Millersylvania State Park

Nestled between Olympia and Centralia, Millersylvania State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. This expansive park boasts a vibrant mix of forests and water bodies, providing a delightful setting for outdoor activities. With two swimming beaches, visitors can cool off during the warm summer months. The park offers a network of hiking and biking trails, including 8.1 miles of hiking and 7.6 miles of biking trails, perfect for exploring the park’s diverse landscapes.

For water enthusiasts, there are opportunities for boating, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and swimming in the freshwater lake. Wildlife and bird viewing are also popular activities in the park, and there are even horseshoe pits for those who prefer land-based recreation.

Activities at Millersylvania State Park:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Paddleboarding
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife and bird viewing
  • Horseshoe pits for land-based recreation

Facilities at Millersylvania State Park:

Facility Description
Camping 54 standard campsites with electric hookups, 18 partial-hookup sites, 5 primitive campsites
Picnic areas Multiple picnic tables and shelters for picnicking
Playground Playground equipment for children
Boat ramp Access to the freshwater lake for boating
Bathrooms Restroom facilities available

Sucia Island Marine State Park

Discover the unparalleled beauty of Sucia Island Marine State Park, a hidden gem nestled within Washington’s San Juan Islands. Located on a secluded island, this park offers a truly unique and remote natural experience. To access this pristine paradise, visitors must embark on a scenic boat ride from Fossil Bay dock, adding to the sense of adventure and exclusivity.

One of the park’s distinguishing features is the absence of typical amenities, allowing nature enthusiasts to fully immerse themselves in the raw beauty of the surroundings. With 10 miles of trails winding through various landscapes, Sucia Island Marine State Park offers breathtaking views and endless opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, fishing, and diving.

For those looking to enjoy a leisurely meal surrounded by the stunning scenery, picnic spots are available. However, please note that camping on the island is on a first-come, first-served basis, with 60 standard campsites for overnight stays. Sucia Island Marine State Park is the perfect destination for those seeking serenity, adventure, and a true escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


What are the state parks near Olympia, WA?

The state parks near Olympia, WA include Columbia Hills State Historical Park, Leadbetter Point State Park, Fort Worden Historical State Park, Millersylvania State Park, and Sucia Island Marine State Park.

What activities can I do at Columbia Hills State Historical Park?

At Columbia Hills State Historical Park, you can enjoy camping, kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking, and exploring Native American petroglyphs and pictographs.

What makes Leadbetter Point State Park unique?

Leadbetter Point State Park offers a peaceful and secluded beach experience, with opportunities for beachfront walks, birdwatching, and wildlife observation.

What can I do at Fort Worden Historical State Park?

You can explore the old military fort, hike or bike on the park’s trails, and enjoy water activities such as fishing, boating, swimming, and diving at Fort Worden Historical State Park.

What activities are available at Millersylvania State Park?

Millersylvania State Park offers swimming, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, wildlife and bird viewing, and horseshoe pits for land-based recreation.

How can I visit Sucia Island Marine State Park?

Sucia Island Marine State Park can only be reached by boat from Fossil Bay dock. Visitors can enjoy hiking, boating, fishing, diving, and picnicking on the island.

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