Need a great, easy hike to do with the kids around the South Puget Sound this time of year?
Reader/writer mom Julie has a review of Nolte State Park today, a great place for a nature walk with the kids.
Last weekend’s Saturday morning dilemma: one kid wanted to go to a playground, another wanted to go for a walk. I wanted to explore someplace new… somewhere where we could avoid a whole lot of mud and snow. The sun was out and it was the perfect day for us to be out too. But where to go? After all this rain, did a trail that isn’t covered in mud or pavement exist? Yes, it does! Nolte State Park to the rescue!
It’s no secret that Washington state parks are amazing, but we haven’t visited many day use only parks. I’m so glad we discovered this gem, and if you haven’t been there, you should discover it too!
Once a privately owned resort property, Nolte State Park was donated to the state park system in the early 1970’s. It is 117 acres, with the centerpiece being a relatively small lake named Deep Lake. Adjacent to the parking lot are restrooms, two of which were open during our visit. Also in this area is a children’s play area, large grassy area, many picnic tables and barbeques, and water access. True to its name, the lake IS deep, and gets deep just steps from the beach.
The walking trail was our goal for the day, and it was easy to find. The trail makes a 1.4 mile loop around the lake. It’s mostly flat, wide, and relatively mud free. There are many little side trails that lead down to the lake, which make for great exploring. There are also benches around the trail for those wanting a break. We ended up doing two loops around the lake, one in each direction, with a playground break between the loops. The trail is a beautiful walk through the woods, and offers many fine views of the lake. It’s also perfect for little kiddos who are just testing out and building up their hiking legs. We passed many people who were walking with family and/or dogs, and everyone was very friendly.
The park is located 5 miles north of Hwy 410 as you leave Enumclaw on Veazie Cumberland Rd SE. Because it is a state park, it requires a Discover Pass ($30 annually) or a $10 day pass (there is a self service pay station open during the off season).
If you loved this post, be sure to check out our recent round-up of great rainy day hikes for still more options that will keep you (mostly) mud free!
Thanks to writer mom Julie Collins for this post!