"Forest Remains in Lesser Known Canyon" Lake Sylvia State Park by glabah

Lake Sylvia State Park Travel Guide: 8 reviews and 34 photos

NOTE: As of July 1, 2011, a day use fee has been implemented at many Washington State parks. This fee is $10 per day, or a $30 fee for a year pass. There is a $5 fee in addition to the annual pass fee if purchased at one of the many resellers. Please see my Discover Pass tip for a little more about this. For a bit more about Washington State parks in general, please see my Washington State Parks tip.

Much of what you see when taking US 12 and State Route 8 between Olympia and Hoquiam is not terribly scenic. A huge portion of the forest is cut down as soon as the trees get any size to the at all, while flat lands have given way to suburban development, though some farm and forest land does remain in places.

However, if you do decide you would like to see some evidence of what this part of Washington once looked like, there is Lake Sylvia State Park.

While the original huge trees that once blanketed this small section of forest are long gone, there are scattered remains of their existence even now. Fairly large stumps (none are truly huge as found in some areas nearby) may be found throughout the park, allowing visitors to imagine what this forest was once like when they compare the size of the stump to the much younger but still very tall trees that are in the park today.

The park has hiking trails, mostly limited to a loop that goes around the lake. However, there are several connections from this loop to trails that go outside the park into the surrounding forest land, which is not part of the state park officially.

There are also some day use picnic facilities, a swimming area, and a number of camping sites. If you bring a non-powered boat, it is possible to put it into the water and explore the small lake.

The lake is also a very popular fishing location in season.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lesser known park not far from beaches with considerable forest canopy and very clear water. Road into here only serves park, so little traffic in surrounding area.
  • Cons:Approximately 1/2 hour to Hoquiam, and even further to actual beaches. Tiny size of park limits range of activities.
  • In a nutshell:Worthy of exploration on your way through the area, and could be a good place to camp for the night.
  • Last visit to Lake Sylvia State Park: Feb 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (8)



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