JBLM Area Recreation; Tolmie State Park


Mount Rainier Joint Base Lewis McChord Area

The landmark of the JB Lewis-McChord area


As a long -time resident of the Pacific Northwest I no doubt take advantage of how beautiful it is up here.  I was made painfully aware of this the other day when my family and I drove the measly 4 miles to Tolmie State Park.

Tolmie State Park is located just a few miles from Olympia off I-5 in what is considered Hawks Prairie.  It is a very well maintained 105-acre marine day-use park with 1,800 feet of saltwater shoreline on Puget Sound.  If you are lucky enough to live in the area or just passing by you need to check out this beautifully forested piece of Nisqually Beach.

Tolmie State Park offers many beach side activities.  It even features an underwater park that was built by scuba divers.  There is a saltwater marsh, a forest, and a beach.  There are 3 miles of hiking trails that are great for the whole family and a ton of places to stop and have a picnic.  The park offers two kitchen shelters with electricity and 11 sheltered and 20 unsheltered picnic tables.

The wildlife at the park is extremely abundant.  The kids could spend hours collecting sand dollars, crabs, mussels, oysters, and digging for clams and geoducks.  Also keep your eyes out for wildlife mammals, birds, and fish.   Deer, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, eagles, geese, hawks, herons, ospreys, owls, woodpeckers, seals, eel, perch, salmon, shark, steelhead, and trout are all very common at the park.

There is no camping at Tolmie State Park but it does offer 5 mooring buoys available for boaters.  Many boaters tie up here and stay the night.  There are also two fire pits available for day use.

Before visiting the park you may want to check the local tide table.  Some of the best times are when the tide is out.  You can get this information at www.saltwatertides.com.

Lastly, don’t forget your Discover Pass.  A Discover Pass is required at all Washington State Parks.  The pass costs $30 for the entire year and can be purchased at any outdoor store.  You can learn more at http://www.discoverpass.wa.gov/.

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