See the Sights of the Sound with These Olympia Waterfront Nature Trails

The water is a wonderful place to experience peace and tranquility. Olympia is full of breathtaking local hikes and waterfront spots that take you right along the Olympic Peninsula and down to the beach. Experience the beauty of the sound for yourself with these Olympia waterfront nature trails.

Evergreen Beach Trail

Driftwood Road NW, Olympia

The Evergreen State College is nestled right in the middle of a beautiful forest. Not only does the campus perfectly capture the nature of the Northwest, but it also offers a number of trails to explore, including a beach trail. The Evergreen Beach Trail is a two-mile hike through breathtaking greenery that leads straight to the water. After a leisurely and relaxing hike, you will find yourself down on the beach with a wide-reaching view of the sound and landscapes. Here you can also often find crabs in the still water and washed-up jellyfish, barnacles and driftwood. The trail is dog-friendly and allows for them to be off-leash on the beach, so if you have a furry hiking companion, feel free to bring them along for the journey! To access the trailhead, turn into Parking Lot F off of Driftwood Road NW and park near the back. No parking pass or Discover Pass required.

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The Evergreen Beach Trail is the perfect combination of forest and beach. The trail winds through lush, green forest down to the sound, where you can soak in the sun and experience the wonder of the water. Photo credit: Heather L. Dyson

Tolmie State Park

61st Avenue NE, Olympia

Tolmie State Park is settled in the forest by Nisqually Beach. Though off the beaten path, it is well worth the drive, what with its long-reaching shoreline and peaceful trails. It is a short hike from the parking lot down some stairs to reach the beach and multiple trailheads, such as the Four Cedars Trail and Sandy Beach Trail, ranging up to two miles in length. Each trail offers a great deal of local wildlife to observe, from birds and frogs to a community of crabs under the main bridge by the beach. The Park also boasts two large kitchen shelters and a multitude of picnic tables, so it is a great choice for bigger events or a day out with the family. Whether you are looking to set up camp on the beach for an afternoon or adventure through the forest, Tolmie State Park has just what you need. The parking lot is near residential neighborhoods off of 61st Avenue NE. A Discover Pass is required and dogs must be leashed at all times.

Olympia Waterfront-Trails-Tolmie-State-Park
Tolmie State Park boasts stunning views and whimsical wildlife. Here you can see a variety of bird breeds, crabs, frogs, and the infamous slugs. Try out one of the trails to experience the sound in a whole new way. Photo credit: Heather L. Dyson

Burfoot County Park

Boston Harbor Road, Olympia

Burfoot County Park is settled right in the Budd Inlet. The Park is lush with green grass and three shelters complete with grills and seating. It is the perfect place for a family gathering or a day out in the sun. In addition to the quaint and welcoming park, Burfoot also offers three miles of trails to get down to the water. Each one of the trails is equal in length and features some stairs to make the walk a little easier. The beach is small but is usually a quiet spot to take in the magnificent Olympic Mountains. It is also populated by numerous tiny crabs, so it is a great place to take kids to see natural wildlife. The beach and park are both dog-friendly, though they do ask to keep dogs leashed at all times. To get to the park, follow Boston Harbor Road for six miles until you see the sign for the park on your left. A Discover Pass is required.

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Burfoot County Park is small in size and big in beauty. The majestic views from the shoreline perfectly capture the breathtaking Pacific Northwest. Photo credit: Heather L. Dyson

Priest Point Park

East Bay Drive NE, Olympia

Priest Point Park has the best of both worlds with its multiple trails. If you are looking for a short jaunt down to the water, there is a trail that is accessible off of the second parking lot near the park. This sandy side of the sound gives you a beautiful view of surrounding Olympic Mountains and the Capitol, though beware of mucky mud as the tide rolls out! Want more of a challenge? Walk up East Bay Drive and you will find a trailhead that takes you up and down winding staircases through the forest. Depending on which way you go, you can go as far as 5 miles roundtrip to really get lost in nature. About halfway through this trail you will come to another access point for the beach. This side of the sound is much longer and rockier, so it is a lovely spot for a beachside stroll. Priest Point is dog-friendly and does not require a Discover Pass to enter.

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Priest Point Park features 5 miles of forest trails and multiple access points to the water. You can walk along the shoreline and really escape it all on this gravelly beach. Dogs love it too! Photo credit: Heather L. Dyson
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