Photo by Grit City Photo at Swantown Marina & Waterfront
From the local waters of Puget Sound, to the many hidden inlets, rivers and lakes, the Olympia region is a waterfront paradise. Boardwalks are boundless here and make you feel (almost) like walking on water. Boundless Boardwalks that you can see for miles with magnificent views and forest adventure. Read on to discover some unique places to walk on water in the region:
Percival Landing Park
Located in the heart of downtown Olympia, Percival Landing is a three-acre waterfront park and popular hub for gatherings and public events. The Landing boasts a nearly one-mile boardwalk, meandering along the eastern shoreline of West Bay with water views, boat moorage and public artwork. The park was named after an old commercial steamship wharf, a well-known maritime landmark in the Pacific Northwest.
Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
The Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge hugs the southern end of Puget Sound, near Lacey. Established in the 1970s to protect diverse wildlife, the park offers stunning, 360-degree views of Puget Sound, the Olympics, Mount Rainier and several nearby islands. The Nisqually Estuary Boardwalk Trail sits just above the wetlands and tidelands, and hikers can relish over a myriad of bird species, harbor seals, otters, beavers and other animals that call this refuge home.
McLane Creek Nature Trail
The McLane Creek boardwalk offers a scenic, two-mile loop trail in the Capitol State Forest just outside of Olympia. The family-friendly nature trail offers an accessible boardwalk, which hangs above green flora and hidden lakes, home to ring-necked ducks, mallards, red-winged blackbirds, other waterfowl and newts. The trail continues through peaceful, lush forests, moss-draped logs, and a salmon-bearing stream. Dogs are also able to use the trail but must be kept on a leash.
Photo by Adam Sawyer at McLane Creek Nature Trail
Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls
Tumwater Falls Park was recently renamed Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls, in honor of Olympia Brewing Company and its founding family. Located in the historic, charming town of Tumwater, the park provides visitors with 15 acres of natural beauty and one-half mile of walking trails highlighted by cascading waterfalls, reflective pools, maintained lawns, picnic facilities and a sandpit for children. Spanning the Deschutes River at both ends of the gorge and connecting the network of trails are footbridges, a popular spot for viewing spawning salmon in the fall! Renovations are currently underway to expand the attractions at the park including the development of a viewing pool to see hatching salmon.
Photo by Grit City Photo at Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls
Swantown Marina & Waterfront
Swantown Marina is situated on Budd Inlet, close to the state capital campus, downtown Olympia waterfront and farmers market. With a stunning backdrop of boats, Puget Sound and the Olympics, the park boasts a scenic walking trail that stretches around the inlet, through the marina and the Port of Olympia and connects to the Percival Landing Boardwalk. Swantown offers a variety of shady, picnic spots, outdoor grills, moorage, and group event space.