There’s never been a better time to get outside and soak up nature.
Fortunately, we live in a gorgeous area with almost unlimited options for adventure. From beautiful nature trails and scenic bike paths to amazing lake and ocean views, the Pacific Northwest has so much to offer. So whether you enjoy kayaking, fishing, hiking, or simply taking a leisurely stroll while enjoying the beautiful scenery, there’s something here for everyone! Of course, we recommend staying safe by social distancing, masking up, and stretching beforehand.
1) Kayak Nisqually
Kayak Nisqually is an eco-tourism kayaking company that offers guided tours with experienced biologist guides. As you paddle, you will learn fascinating facts about the local wildlife, history, and everything in between while enjoying the natural beauty around you. Eagles, white pelicans, and seals are on the list of animals that you might encounter on your tour. The sunset tour also comes highly recommended as you will be able to enjoy an incredible natural phenomenon: bioluminescence. This kayaking trip is so scenic that you might forget what a great upper body workout you’re getting.
2) Western-Chehalis Bike Trail
This 21.2-mile bike path is a great option for your next biking adventure. The path goes through forests, pastures, farms, as well as the suburban community of Lacey. The path also includes one hidden gem that you won’t want to miss: the Monarch Sculpture Park. Accessible only from the bike path, this park is full of unique works of art to discover. Many of the sculptures have interactive musical elements that children will love. This is a great adventure for the whole family—even pets are allowed as long as they are on a leash.
3) Yelm-Tenino Bike Trail
Thinking about dusting off your bike? This 14-mile beginner bike trail promises to get your heart pumping and legs spinning! The best part about this path is that it has a variety of exciting stops to make along the way. If you love to swim, make sure that you bring your bathing suit for a quick dip in the Tenino quarry pool. And there’s a great option to finish up your day of biking with a stop at the Scatter Creek Winery and Brewery, where you can enjoy a lovely wine tasting and wind down after your biking adventure.
4) Stand Up Paddle Boarding at the Boston Harbor Marina
If you are looking to spend a day out on the water and get in a great core workout, the Boston Harbor Marina is a great destination. This is an excellent place to try stand up paddleboarding: an outdoor activity perfect for almost all fitness levels! Both stand up paddleboard and kayak rentals are available for those who don’t have their own equipment. If you’re in the mood to treat yourself, make sure to stop by the marina’s store where you will find delicious pub-style food, including a self serve ice cream machine.
5) McLane Creek Nature Trail
This is an amazing nature trail where you can experience wildlife while enjoying outdoor serenity. Stay on the lookout for salamanders, dragonflies, beavers, and—in the right season—spawning salmon! This hike offers options for people of all levels of hiking experience as there are shorter and longer trails available. No matter what trail you choose, there will be many viewing points along the boardwalk and trail system for you to enjoy the sights and wildlife. This is a great outing that the whole family is guaranteed to enjoy, including your four-legged (leashed) friends.
6) Self Guided Walking Tour of Olympia
Walking has so many proven health benefits—why not add in a touring the city of Olympia? You’ll stay active while discovering some amazing locations. One of the most unique things about Olympia is that it is the home of an incredible public arts collection of over 120 pieces. In just an hour and a half of walking through the city, you will be able to experience this incredible artwork as well as historic sights, wildlife, and gorgeous views of the shoreline along the boardwalk. Find a walking map of the city with highlighted key points of interest here.
7) Millersylvania State Park
Looking for a beautiful place on the water that offers a variety of outdoor activities? Then Millersylvania State Park is the perfect place for you. Situated right on the lake, this is a great spot for kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and even fishing. If you don’t want to get wet, there are hiking trails available as well. Bring a picnic and turn it into a fun day trip, or check out the overnight camping options if you want to make your stay last a little longer. However long you decide to stay, it’s a guarantee that you’ll have a fantastic time out on the water.
8) Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
Next on our list is another incredible nature hike for you and your family to enjoy. At Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, wander through a picturesque trail while enjoying many different facets of nature. As you might be able to guess by the name, the trail features many kinds of wildlife that you will get to enjoy, including eagles, hawks, blue herons and even the occasional seal. The grounds are extremely diverse, consisting of grasslands and freshwater marshes, with large sections of the boardwalk travelling over the tide flats. This hike promises to provide a very peaceful yet exciting day for all.
9) Regional Athletic Complex
The Regional Athletic Complex, located in the city of Lacey, truly has something for everyone. The 100-acre sports complex features softball, baseball, football, rugby and soccer fields as well as basketball courts. There are also fun playgrounds to children amused and great places to stop and have a picnic. Two miles of walking trails are found within the complex, so whether you are looking to play ball, go for a run, or take your pet for a walk, this is a great destination. We recommend calling ahead to confirm any pandemic-related precautions currently in place.
10) The Percival Landing
Looking to take a stroll? Percival Landing is considered to be one of the best features of downtown Olympia. If you’re looking for a beautiful place to walk along the waterfront with views of the city of Olympia and the Olympic Mountains, this is it. Besides the gorgeous views, there are also lots of places to shop and eat along the way. There are displays of public art, playgrounds for children, and the farmer’s market is in close walking distance. And if you happen to be a Pokemon Go fan, this is a great spot to check out!