Head to the South Sound for hiking, paddling, birding and fun

Puget Sound’s southern end is close to Seattle, yet just far enough away. Unlike the steep stair-climber slopes in the mountains around Seattle, the area around Olympia tends to feature rolling terrain and smaller hills. Plentiful parks make finding a hike easy, and the hikes’ accessibility makes them friendly to families and those with limited time or physical capabilities.

Take Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve, a 635-acre park just south of Olympia, for example. The derivation of its namesake earthen humps is still uncertain despite much study and speculation; theories range from pocket gophers to windblown sediments to extraterrestrials. Trails give visitors various ways to explore these strange lumps in the Earth’s surface. A .5-mile paved trail is ADA-accessible, and easy loop hikes meander among the mounds, which are at their best when wildflowers bloom in April and May.

Right next to Mima Mounds, the multiuse trails at Capitol State Forest are often populated with mountain bikers, horseback riders and ATV users in summer. But during the rainy season, hikers have the forest mostly to themselves. A 6.5-mile loop whose trailhead is practically across the street from Mima Mounds leads to pretty Mima Falls and connects to a collection of longer and sometimes steeper trails through the forest.

Combine hiking and paddling at Millersylvania State Park, a sprawling camping and recreation spot surrounding Deep Lake. Interlocking loop trails go past wetlands, through meadows and into forests. On this hike through the moss-draped old growth, you will likely hear the hoots of great horned owls above and the low croaks of frogs below.

Read full story…


Similar Posts:

The following are paid links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.