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Hikes Within 30 Minutes from Olympia

Whether you're looking to get away from the sounds of the city in the forest or spend some time along the shore, Olympia is right around the corner from wonderful places to get outside.

You don't have to drive deep into Olympic National Park to find a good hike. Whether you're looking to get away from the sounds of the city in the forest or spend some time along the shore, Olympia is right around the corner from wonderful places to get outside. 

Try one of our suggestions below or share your local favorite in a trip report.

Is it really a 30-minute drive? Your starting point and traffic may make these 5 minutes or 40 minutes away. And if you're taking a bus, it may take quite a bit longer to reach the trailhead. (Be sure to double check routes and schedules.)


    Darlin Creek Preserve

    Location: Near Delphi – southwest of Olympia
    Length: 2.0 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain:
     140 feet

    Darlin Creek Preserve by Juli Hoza.jpg
    Still waters reflect blue skies at Darlin Creek Preserve. Photo by Juli Hoza.

    Darlin Creek Preserve is a 312-acre conservation effort that is open to the public. WTA has previously worked on the trail system and boardwalk structures that you may walk on if you visit. If you're hoping to enjoy some native flora and fauna, this could be the place for you.

    Among the wildlife you may come across are different species of salmon, beavers, and many kinds of birds like geese, warblers, and kingfishers. You may see trillium, bleeding heart flowers, and false lily-of-the-valley on your hike as well. 

    > Plan your trip to the Darlin Creek Preserve using WTA's Hiking Guide


    Capitol State Forest - McLane Creek

    Location: Near Bordeaux - southwest of Olympia
    Length: 1.5 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain: 50 feet

    Capitol State Forest - McLane Creek by lpick10.jpg
    Morning in the woods on McLane Creek Trail in Capitol State Forest. Photo by lpick10.

    Teeming with wildlife and greenery, the McLane Creek Trail in Capitol State Forest is a great place to escape the city for an afternoon. Salmon, ducks, blackbirds, and newts may be enjoying the forest and creek along with you on your hike. Find yourself surrounded by diverse plant and fungus life as you walk on dirt trail and boardwalk. Both the boardwalk and an observation deck offer beautiful views of the lake that the trail circumnavigates. 

    > Plan your trip to Capitol State Forest - McLane Creek using WTA's Hiking Guide


    Capitol State Forest - Sherman Creek Loop

    Location: Near Bordeaux - southwest of Olympia
    Length: 7.8 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain: 800 feet

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    Sun rays on Sherman Creek Loop Trail in Capitol State Forest. Photo by BubbaDawg.

    If you're looking for something longer, the Sherman Creek Loop might be just what you're seeking. Part of the loop follows Sherman Creek, and the trail also goes through both old-growth and second-growth forest, the result of previous logging activity in the area. The trail connects with other trails in the larger Capitol State Forest trail network, if you'd like to extend your hike. 

    > Plan your trip to Capitol State Forest - Sherman Creek Loop using WTA's Hiking Guide


    Frye Cove County Park

    Location: Between Kamilche and Olympia - northwest of Olympia
    Length: 1.25 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain: 110 feet

    Frye Cove County Park by James Green.jpg
    Mount Rainier from Frye Cove Park across Eld Inlet. Photo by James Green.

    Right on the shore of Eld Inlet, Frye Cove County Park is a 67-acre park with a trail system and saltwater beach. The trail around the park takes you through forested old-growth, with some views of the inlet. On a clear day, Mount Rainier peeks out across the water. 

    The park also offers several amenities — restrooms, benches, picnic shelters, a playground — making it a great place for a hike or a relaxed afternoon outside. 

    > Plan your trip to Frye Cove County Park using WTA's Hiking Guide


    Mima Mounds

    Location: Near Bordeaux - southwest of Olympia
    Mileage: 2.75 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain: 10 feet

    Mima Mounds by lpick10.jpg
    Mima Mounds in the spring. Photo by lpick10.

    Although there are many theories on how the mysterious Mima Mounds came to be, one thing is certain: they're a great place to go for a hike! If you're looking for something short and sweet, a half-mile paved, accessible trail will bring you to an observation deck with beautiful views of the mounds. If you're hoping for something longer and more exploratory, a trail snakes around and through the mounds so you can get right up close to them.

    > Plan your trip to the Mima Mounds using WTA's Hiking Guide


    Millersylvania State Park

    Location: Near Maytown - south of Olympia
    Mileage:
    6.0 miles, roundtrip
    Elevation Gain:
    105 feet

    Millersylvania State Park by Bob and Barb.jpg
    Mossy trees and greenery in Millersylvania State Park. Photo by Bob and Barb.

    Millersylvania State Park is a 903-acre camping park that hugs the north edge of Deep Lake. The state park houses a system of trails that can take you through verdant forest, along the lake, past small ponds, and on bridges and boardwalks over marshy swamp. Do the large loop around the park, or create your own adventure through the trail network. 

    > Plan your trip to Millersylvania State Park using WTA's Hiking Guide