Priest Point Park can be easily accessed from downtown Olympia. It’s a small park split by East Bay Dr. with many interlocking trails to go a few miles or a few more. It’s located on Budd Inlet and the Deschutes Estuary and has a long history with Squaxin Native Americans and other tribes with fish traps and freshwater resources. When Europeans began to settle, they established this area as a mission point to convert natives to Christianity. Rumors have it that Chief Seattle was baptized here.
Nowadays it’s a fun place for people from the Olympia area to enjoy the park for fun and relaxation. It has a beautiful rose garden and two-person swings enjoyed by visitors.
For trail running, there are several trails intertwining around the park. The wooden stairs and bridges add an extra challenge to the short ups and downs of the rainforest. The Ellis Cove trail is the featured trail of the park as it heads down to the sound for some rocky beachcombing if that is what you like.
There are several lookout platforms for expansive views of the Olympic Mountains, downtown Olympia, and the capitol building. Even though Priest Point Park is in the center of Olympia, the dense forest blanketed with moss, dense ferns, and evergreens make it easy to escape from the city.
The Oly Trail runners meet at Priest Point Park every Thursday night at 6:00. The group meets at the Rose Garden in the summer and Olympia Friends Meeting House when starting in the dark. Check the Facebook page for the meeting place. The usual route for Oly Trail Runners is 4.4 miles with 460 feet of climbing.