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Capitol State Forest - McLane Creek

Olympic Peninsula


Olympic Peninsula -- Olympia
View map below


1.5 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 50 ft.
Highest Point: 60 ft.


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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

This is one of the best places to go if you're looking for wildlife and a little leg-stretchers. McLane Creek's boardwalk provides an intimate glimpse into nature, whether it's swimming families of news, spawning salmon, or laughing ducks. As always, please refrain from feeding the wildlife here. 

Beginning at the parking area, head down the trail closest to the water. Almost immediately, a diversion appears in the form of an overlook to your right. Turn down this little side platform, and get your first glimpse of a placid lake, home to ring-necked ducks, mallards, red-winged blackbirds, and many other chirping birds.

Peering into the water, you and your family will spy newts gliding among the lush green flora growing from the lake bottom.

Back on the trail, follow the boardwalk (which turns to soft surface trail at times) around to your first intersection. Take the righthand fork and cross (back on boardwalk) the outlet stream to the lake. Stumps in the lake provide perches for those waterfowl. How many happy, singing birds can you spot?

Continuing across the lake, turn left at the next junction and head back into deeper, wilder forest, where hemlock and cedar branches are twisted and draped in moss, and nurse logs are overtaken by the plants they have fostered. Straight ahead is a salmon-bearing stream. Follow the trail around to a lovely, large observation deck, which, in winter, provides an up-close, (if smelly) look into the life cycle of salmon.

Pressing on, you'll reach the first intersection. This time, turn left, and retrace your steps across the lake on the boardwalk. Once you are across, turn right this time and head for one last observation deck. Enjoy a last moment with the peace and quiet before heading back to your car.

Wheelchair Accessibility

For wheelchairs, this is best hiked clockwise from the parking lot to the viewing platform. The boardwalk areas have pullouts for wheelchairs with interpretive signs to read


Capitol State Forest - McLane Creek

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.0008, -123.0042 Open map in new window


Olympic Peninsula -- Olympia

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

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Toilet Information

  • Toilet at trailhead

More information about toilets

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

USGS Little Rock

Capitol State Forest DNR map:

Capitol State Forest Recreation and Trails Map PDF:

Getting There

From Olympia, drive west for two miles on Hwy 101. Take the exit for Black Lake Boulevard, turning left on Black Lake Boulevard. In 3.5 miles the road turns right to become 62nd Avenue. Keep on 62nd Avenue for 0.7 miles to a stop sign.

Here, turn right on Delphi Road. In half a mile, turn left into the parking area for McLane Creek, marked with a large brown and white sign. The trailhead is a short distance down this road. Discover Pass required.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

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Capitol State Forest - McLane Creek

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