Long Lake Park’s former swimming dock has a new home on Longs Pond, located at Woodland Creek Park in Lacey. After removing the dock from Long Lake Park due to safety concerns, the City of Lacey repurposed and relocated the dock to Longs Pond to replace the previous dock that was in disrepair. The park’s youth and senior visitors can use the dock for fishing, as swimming is not allowed in the pond.
Complete with new safety bars, the dock on Longs Pond was converted from a swimming dock to a fishing dock and will be a popular spot for Lacey youth and senior programs. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) stocks the pond with trout and traditionally, the State of Washington designated it as a fishing spot for youth, 14-years-old and younger.
“Historically, it’s really been about getting kids excited about being outside and getting active,” says Justin Beard, recreation supervisor for the City of Lacey.
With the newly repurposed dock, the WDFW overhauled the fishing regulations on Longs Pond to give more visitors the opportunity to fish. Now, seniors, 70-years-old and over, can fish from the Longs Pond dock as well. Since it is ADA accessible, people with disabilities can enjoy casting a line off the new dock, too. With the Lacey Senior Center bordering the pond, the fishing age expansion is welcome news.
“I grew up hiking, fishing, and camping around all these lakes. So, for me, it hits pretty close to home that we have this resource here for folks that maybe can’t get to some of the other spots that are available to fish,” says Beard.
The City of Lacey will hold a grand opening, celebrating Woodland Creek Park’s new fishing dock, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 22. Attendees can enjoy family-friendly activities including interactive stations on fishing safety and line casting hosted by AmeriCorps volunteers, and a fish-identification station featuring aquatic life of the Pacific Northwest.
More Than Just a Pond
At 72 acres, Woodland Creek Park doesn’t just host Longs Pond – it has a variety of venues and activities for visitors. The park’s namesake, Woodland Creek, runs through the middle of the park grounds and connects multiple local lakes. The Stream Team is currently undertaking a revegetation project along the creek, with the intention of reintroducing a spawning salmon population.
“We host a lot of state agencies,” explains Beard. “Non-profit groups host meetings and trainings here, too. On weekends, we see a lot of wedding receptions, especially this time of year. We’re in wedding season, so we have weddings just about every weekend.”
Owned by the City of Lacey and operated by the Senior Services for the South Sound, the Lacey Senior Center offers a variety of dance, art, and language classes for local seniors. The Center is a satellite site for the Meals on Wheels program, as well.
Lacey Parks & Recreation uses the White House, also located in the park, for youth camps and art classes throughout the summer.
Park visitors can use the nine-hole disc golf course that meanders through the woods near the back of the park and two large picnic shelters that boarder the park’s playground equipment.
Woodland Creek Park is also a trailhead for the Karen Fraser Woodland Trail. “It’s a walking and bike path. It goes through Lacey, follows the old rail line and it meets up with the I-5 Trail and the Chehalis-Western Trail,” says Beard. “It goes over the creek, through the back of the park, and then meets up at the old rail line where it boarders the park and the bus barn for the North Thurston School District.”
To learn more about fishing at Longs Pond and other Woodland Creek Park amenities, visit the City of Lacey website.