Public Places to Swim in the Olympia Area

There are a few.

Deschutes River:
(from I-5 and Henderson Blvd.)Drive (or bike) out Henderson Boulevard until you get to Yelm Highway. Stay on Henderson. Pioneer Park entrance is on the right a little ways down. You do have to hike to the river, but its real close to the parking lot. There are lots of spots. Keep hiking until you find the right mixture of seclusion, pooling, and sun-warmed water. Innertubing is fun. Be careful, and watch kids carefully-the current can be strong. There is also a soccer field at Pioneer Park.

Black Lake: (From hwy 101 and Blacklake) Drive out Black Lake a couple miles. Turn left on Blacklake-Belmore Rd. Follow this another 2 miles. Turn right on 66th. 66th will take a sharp left just before the park. Kenneydell park entrance is on the right. There are picnic shelters and ample beach. Usually quite a crowd.

Munn Lake: (Newly discovered!) Follow the directions above to Pioneer Park, but stay on Henderson another 1/2 mile or so until 65th. Turn left on 65th. Park on the street-the lot is for permit-holders. Nothing fancy- a small boat launch and itty bitty gravelly beach. Quiet, pretty warm, and weedy. You can also fish there. If you like hidden spots, this one is for you.

Burfoot Park:
From downtown Olympia, take Plum Street to East Bay Drive, which turns into Boston Harbor Road. Continue six miles. The park is on the left at 6927 Boston Harbor Road. Watch for the park sign. (If you arrive at Boston Harbor, you went too far.) You have to hike down a little ways from the fields and shelters. Its salty and barnacley and sometimes jelly-fishy. But I don't think its sludgy. I really like it there. Good beach for combing, sunbathing, and playing, too. Beautiful Puget Sound!


Blogger Johnny Koch said...

Long Lake Park is good too. On Carpenter Rd., right next to the Thurston Co. Fairgrounds. I used to swim here all the time growing up.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Emmett said...

When you say "permit holders" at Munn Lake, all you need is the Access Stewardship sticker from WDFW. Nothing special. Though, if you don't fish, you don't likely have one of those.

Also, don't forget Ward Lake off of Boulevard Rd.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

I did not realize that the sign referred only to a fishing license.

I thought Ward Lake was closed to the public now. That is where I used to always swim as a kid. Munn is sort of like the place we used to go at Ward Lake before they closed it to "sunbathers". Do you know if there is going to be public swimming access at the new Briggs Urban Village park along Ward Lake?

The other great place we used to go was the Tenino Quarry.

7:37 PM  
Blogger MelungeonMidwife said...

Some people in Olympia actually believe that we should keep swimming places private and secret. People we are friends with! I think this plays into the idea that private properety and knowledege is a good thing. I don't think so, and I for one am glad that you included this in your site. There should be a zine about all the places to swim around oly.

12:02 AM  

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