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Priest Point Park, Olympia

(150+ reviews on the web)
State Park Nature / Park
Priest Point Park is a public park located in Olympia, Washington. Established in 1905, it was the city's first waterfront park, providing access to the Budd Inlet of Puget Sound.HistoryIn 1848 Catholic missionaries of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate led by Father Pascal Ricard arrived in the South Puget Sound area, claiming the site as St. Joseph's of New Market. Father Ricard and three other French Canadian priests built two or three simple buildings, including a classroom and chapel, along with an orchard and garden. They operated a school for Indian boys from the local Squaxin Island Tribe. The Nisqually, Puyallup and Snoqualmie used the mission as a trading post. The mission closed in 1860, three years after Pascal left.In 1905 the land became a city park after plans for a housing development fell through. Volunteers labored to clear trails, install landscaping and re-erect the elaborate two-story Swiss-style chalet donated by Leopold Schmidt of the Olympia Brewery. The building first served as the brewery's pavilion at the 1903-04 Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon, and remained at the park until the early 1950s.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This park is so awesome, nestled into the moss covered forests right outside of downtown Olympia. It is very enjoyable and so many directions from which to explore within the park.  more »
  • The park has a large pavilion for family picnics. It is well-maintained with plenty of room for large groups or multiple families. The trails were hilly but not difficult. There aren't many signs but ...  more »
  • We had a fabulous day exploring the park. The weather was perfect so lots of families out and about. If you plan on walking a lot, I would suggest you wear good tennis shoes or even hikers as some of ...  more »
Google
  • Priest Point is a great place close to Olympia to access the Sound and forest. It's always really clean. The east side has easy gravel trails that take you past large, moss covered trees. There's also a new shelter and a small rose garden. The west side has the Ellis Cove trail which is a little more hilly and can have some muddy spots. Bonus points for finding the two hiding black bears. There's also beach access, more shelters and a playground. I love this park and visit as often as I can.
  • My family loves this park. There is a playground that suits young children and older kids. There are plenty of picnic tables to sit at with your family. We love the trails through the woods. Especially the one behind the playground, it comes out at a high cliff where there is a perfect view of the sunset over the water. There is also a trail that leads you down to the beach, it's a bit difficult to go down with strollers. There is a cool tree that has a cave you can go inside of. We love nature, and priest point gives us our peaceful dose of mother nature.
  • I love taking my son here. The playground is awesome, the garden is beautiful, they have campsites, a beach and it's so quiet.
  • Wooded park setting with multiple trails and covered picnic areas. The front portion which is their largest public gathering area is currently under construction, but looks mostly complete. Hopefully it will be ready when the season opens. We've used this park for graduation celebrations, and wedding ceremonies. Truly a beautiful place.
  • The hiking trails are well maintained and its a beautiful natural retreat in the middle of the city...i like that there is always a private spot for you and your family to hang out where you don't have to be around strangers for those of us not wanting to chat but to chill.