Review: Tolmie State Park

Tolmie State Park in Olympia lets you hike, swim, and sunbath on the beach all in the same day. Tolmie encompasses some 1,800 feet of sand beach and coastline and a couple miles of inland hiking on trails that wind through old-growth forests. The main hiking trail is short at Tolmie (only a few miles long), but the scenery is pleasant and worth a trip. Also, the state park offers some great amenities, including beach access, picnicking areas and shelters, and boat moorage. The trails are short enough that you can easily bring the family to Tolmie for an afternoon or for a day at the beach and/or a hike.

Looking out towards the beach.

traildifficulty_rating  (2) = You can hike maybe 2.5-3 miles of trails at Tolmie SP in all. I recommend the longer 4 Cedars Trail, which lets you choose between a short and a long loop to hike. The trails are mostly flat, with some gentle ups and downs over forested hills. 4 Cedars Trail traverses mostly old growth forests.

4 Cedars trail start.

Clover leads the way on 4 Cedars Trail.

trailconditions_rating (2) = The amenities at Tolmie SP are clean and well maintained. Many of the picnic areas provide nice views of the beach and the Sound. The park also offers much more than just hiking; additional amenities include an amphitheater, designated metal-detecting area, and a manmade reef for scuba diving. The hiking trails are a bit messy though. If you hike 4 Cedars after it rains, prepare to leap over some puddles. However, you can explore some of the other shorter trails at the park without dealing with too much wetness.

A muddy mess.

Picnic areas with a beachside view.

ruralness_rating (2) = You don’t need to drive far to reach Tolmie. The park is only about 10-15 minutes away from downtown Lacey.

Where: Take Exit 111 off of I-5 and head north on Marvin Road NE until it reaches the end at a T intersection. Turn right onto 56th Avenue NE and remain on the road until you reach the turn off for the state park.

When to Go: Ideally not right after a rainy day! Also, the park isn’t open Monday or Tuesday. During the winter, Tolmie stays open 9 a.m. to dusk. During the summer, it opens at 8 a.m. and stays open until dusk.

Trail Information: For more information on Tolmie’s amenities and trails, visit the Washington State park website and see the trail map. Also, check out the Yelp review. Lastly, you will need a Washington State Discover Pass to access the park. If you’re looking for a half-day or all-day outing for your family and young children, I recommend checking out Tolmie SP.

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