Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Capitol Lake Trail and the Capitol Building


   Capitol Lake is a small freshwater lake created in 1951 by damming the Deschutes River, a decision that has caused controversy. The lake needs periodic dredging to remove river silt, the water quality makes it unsafe for swimming and boating, and it’s construction destroyed a saltwater estuary. Signs along the trail provide pros and cons from a study of recommendations for the lake’s future. It seems like nothing will be done for a while so, for now, enjoy the trail around the lake.

IMG_5429 IMG_5433

  The 1 1/2 mile trail circles the lake. The western section is a concrete sidewalk alongside the road but when the trail reaches Marathon Park it changes to finely crushed stone. It’s hard packed and fairly easy to push along. If you’re feeling ambitious and have some help pushing, a connecting trail switchbacks up to the state capitol building where there’s a great view of the lake.



   The Capitol is opened for guided or self-guided tours. The elaborate building, constructed with Washington state sandstone and granite, was finished in 1928. The interior features marble floors and walls, and a huge Tiffany chandelier suspended from the rotunda. Most capitol buildings have historic displays but the only information we found were brochures about the building and the grounds.



  The accessible entrance is at the southeast corner. Elevators access all of the floors but the sunken rotunda level can only be accessed by stairs. 

   RVs can be parked along Deschutes Pkwy SW for easy trail access. We walked/rolled to the Capitol but parking information is available here.   Trail   47.03742, -122.91307    Capitol  47.03548, -122.90417



  1. For the most part, it looks like a relatively smooth path for a wheelchair user. Will look in to this trail next time I'm there - thanks.

  2. All the years I went by Capital lake & Oly I never stopped and took the walk around. I did take some of the grandkids to see the capital after they opened it again, I liked the golden seal on the floor, something about real gold...

    The farmers market in Olympia is not bad, I've always enjoyed it. Downtown towards the water, open Thurs-Sunday.

    1. The seal is roped off now. I think it might be just brass but it was getting worn down from people walking on it.

  3. Nice to know the walking path is there. We've driven through Olympia several times and never stopped. Time constraints ..., always either coming or going. The Capitol Bldg is very impressive-looking.

    1. We haven't explored Olympia very much either. Maybe next time!

  4. We just visited Olympia today....enjoy Canada