I had picked up a copy of Best Hike With Kids: Western Washington recently, looking for summer hike ideas for the boys, and while reading it, I noticed Mima Mounds on pages 121 to 124. It brought back a memory from long ago, when my oldest was still a boy of 10 years. In early Spring a decade ago, we drove down to the Olympia area and walked the short trails at Mima Mounds. I lived in the Olympia area for a number of years, while in school, and though it was close to our house, my parents never took us there. Like so many things, the years slip by – and that day I tackled it and we went.
So what are the Mima Mounds? They are prehistoric lumps, covering a vast prairie. There was once so much more, but between forest growing over millennium, and humans encroaching, the protected area is very important.
The trails wind through the prairie into the forest, you can see the ripples as you walk.
There is a ½ mile ADA accessible trail, and about 2 miles more of trails than wander through the area.
In some ways I enjoyed the forest the most, watching the trees growing high and low, on and around the mounds.
And if you took the time to get low, oh the things you saw!
In some ways, the mosses and lichens were prettier than the wildflowers that bloom in Spring, though that is amazing to see if you have the chance.
But either way, come in the off seasons, and walk it slowly, savoring a small protected area that is one of a kind now. It’s a great leg stretcher if you driving out to the Olympic Peninsula, and is very child friendly.
Note: Dogs are not allowed.