Priest Point Park
Every city needs a signature park. For Olympia, Priest Point Park is it. The park became a property of the City in 1905, thanks to several local residents. Over the years, the park has been developed making it even better and more popular. Priest Point Park offers the standard park amenities as well as an excellent trail system. The amenities are picnic areas, shelters, playgrounds, basketball and open fields. East Bay Drive cuts the park in half. On the west side of the road is the access to the Puget Sound Beaches. The two beaches are divided by Ellis Cove. The do not miss attraction is the Ellis Cove Trail on the north side of Ellis Cove.
Puget Sound Hikes - Puget Sound Hiking
2600 East Bay Drive NE
Ellis Cove Trail:
The trail is now accessed off the sidewalk on East Bay Drive. From the parking lot on the west side of East Bay Drive, walk north on the sidewalk a few minutes to the trailhead. The trail passes through a forest well over 100 years old. Passing over two ravines, you might think you are high in the mountains. Trails shoot all over so a map is helpful. If the tide is out, a good amount of beach walking is possible making a loop available.
priest point park priest point park South Beach State Capital Building priest point park priest point park playground priest point park priest point park Swings Ellis Cove trailhead Ellis Cove Trail bear cub trail to ellis cove Ellis Cove Trail Priest Point priest point park map priest point park map ellis cove trail map Priest Point Park
Some Park History:
Missionaries of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate came to this area in 1848 to minister to nearby Indian tribes. The site was claimed as St. Joseph's of New Market and was led by Father Pascal Ricard. Father Ricard and three other priests cleared the land, planted a large garden, built a chapel and operated a school for Indian boys. The Squaxin Indians were the immediate neighbors while the Nisqually, Puyallup, and Snoqualmie tribes used the mission as a trading center. Pascal left the mission in 1857 and the mission closed in 1860.
Park entrance sign
A creek entrance in Ellis Cove
Washington State Capital Building
South Beach Access
South Beach Access
Play area
Trailhead for Ellis Cove
Ellis Cove Trail
On Priest Point
Ellis Cove Trail
Beach at Priest Point
Bear climbing a tree in route to Priest Point
Priest Point Map with trails
Map at the Ellis Cove Trailhead