top of page
  • Writer's pictureTina McLain

Woodard Bay Loop & Overlook

An easy hike to Woodard Bay near Olympia, Washington.

View near the trailhead

Trail Name: Woodard Bay Loop & Overlook

Distance: 3.22 miles (including road walk to TH); 2.62 miles (if starting at main TH)

Elevation Range: 0' to 103'

Ascent/Descent: +264 ft/-266 ft

Trail Type: Loop

Trails: Loop Trail, Whitham Road Northeast (we road walked Woodard Bay Road Northeast from other parking lot at Chehalis Western - Woodard Bay TH)

Note: Main TH parking area was full so we drove to the Chehalis Western TH parking area and then road walked to the main TH to do the hike, which added 0.6 miles to the hike total.

Permits: Discovery Pass required to park at trailhead

Location: Woodard Bay Conservation Area, Washington, U.S.A.

Date hike was done: 11-24-23

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Olympia, WA, with family, and on Black Friday I decided I wanted to go out for a hike, or at least attempt to. You know REI’s whole #optoutside. It was my first hike post-surgery. So I tried to find something with not much elevation gain and close to Olympia. My dad and uncle both decided to come along. The Woodard Bay trailhead parking area was full when we got there so we drove farther down the road to another trailhead parking area for Chehalis Western - Woodard Bay.

Woodard Bay

We then road walked to the Woodard Bay trailhead. We took the turn off for the loop trail that meandered through the fern-filled forest. It was rather pretty. We saw some cool plants and mushrooms. There was a really pretty viewpoint with a little bench we stopped at, before we continued on. The loop trail met back up with Whitham Road NE (which only functions as a walking trail) and continued to the Woodard Bay Overlook. We could see quite a few cormorants and fish making bubbles in the water. We even got to watch a mallard that was diving for fish. We sat for a while on the benches, enjoying the view before we hiked back to the trailhead, then along the road back to our car.

I was really surprised with how well my body did on this hike. I was just barely under 2 months post-surgery and I held up pretty well. 

How to get there (from Olympia, WA)



My Wild Adventure is not responsible for your safety, any possible injury, or anything that happens if you choose to follow anything on this website. Maps are not intended to be used for navigational purposes, but to give an overview of the route taken. By going outdoors you are solely responsible to know your strengths and limitations, be aware of current conditions and proceed with the appropriate caution. My Wild Adventure is not responsible for your choices and the outcome. Reference my disclaimer for more information on being responsible outdoors.

Recent Posts


bottom of page