Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sights Around Olympia

A Day at Tolmie State Park


This is a lovely little park is located a little north of Olympia off of Marvin Road and 61st St. NE. It is a wonderful place to spend a summer day! With a perfect view of Mt. Rainer in the distant view, Tolmie State Park has a wonderful long stretch of sandy beach to stroll casually along, the beach being dotted with small sea shells and other sea creatures like barnacles and mussels which attach themselves to the small stones in the water for survival. Pieces of driftwood along the beach add visual interest, and provide places to sit and relax, have a picnic lunch, bird watch or nap.

As the beach area has a gentle downward slope, low tide provides an excellent opportunity for exploration in the shallow waters for sand dollars and watching baby crabs zipping along the sandy bottoms. Great Blue Herons hunt for their suppers in the marshy areas near the shoreline, and I even saw a pair of foxes scamper by while walking along the beach.

This is a wonderful place to build a sand castle, bring your children or grandchildren, and even Fiddo. The gentle slope to the beach gives even the youngest of children safe entry into the water. Due to its protected cove-like formation, wave action was gentle on the day of my visit.

Away from the beach, but within the park are lovely forested areas with giant Douglas firs, cedars and big leaf maples with an understory of the usual northwest favorites, salal, salmonberry and sword ferns. At this time of the year the orange berries are just beginning to form. Two miles of hiking trails traverse through these woods, crossing the wetter areas on small wooden bridges. 

There are outdoor picnic tables located in the park with some located on the beach, as well as a shelter area that can be rented with full kitchen facilities for a larger group.

Five boat mooring spaces are provided for those coming in by water.
The park also includes an underwater scuba diving park for those so inclined! What an adventure that would be!

Access to the park is from sunrise to dusk and requires the State Park Day Pass, costing $10.00 to get in and can be purchased on site at the park. Parking can be a little crowded so I recommend getting there early on warm summer days, with a picnic lunch, a good book, binoculars and good wading shoes and be prepared to enjoy your day in this lovely park!

For more park information visit this site.

Jennifer Bracelettree

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