The McLane Creek Nature Trail located between West Olympia and Tumwater offers a flat 1.5 mile loop trail. I enjoy trails that I don’t have to carefully watch my step but instead can enjoy the sights and sounds. McLane Creek is one of those trails that is very well maintained with lots of boardwalks and viewing outposts.
There is an inner loop trail that goes around the pond, and then the outer loop portion goes through the dense forest. I recommend doing a figure eight to explore it all.
What you’ll see:
On my trips here during the summer, I saw turtles, ducks and many other birds, frogs and salamanders in the pond. Cattails wave in the wind, breaking the near silence of this serene spot. Lots of pond lilies, skunk cabbage and other pond vegetation grow prolifically. Dotting the pondscape are lots of blue dragonflies.
For the forested part of the loop, I was amazed at how large the trees were here in this area. This was a logging area and the stumps remaining easily have a diameter of 5 feet plus. They rest peacefully and are giving way to new growth.
The creek, during the summer when I filmed this video was quite low, but in the fall, it’s fuller and teaming with spawning salmon.
Covered picnic area
What you need to know:
A Discover Pass is required.
From Olympia, take US 101 and exit at Black Lake Boulevard. Turn left onto Black Lake Boulevard and continue for about 4 miles. Turn right onto Delphi Road SW. In just a 0.5 mile, turn left into the McLane Creek Demonstration Forest. Coming from this direction, the sign is hard to see and it’s easy to drive past. There are two parking areas – both with limited parking spaces, but if you get there early, you can park at the second parking area, right at the trail heads.