2600 East Bay Drive NE
Priest Point Park has a deep and rich history. Missionaries of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate came to this area in 1848 to minister 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.
The park became a property of the City in 1905, thanks to Olympian T.J. Kegley, Brown (first name unknown), Elias Payne, and P.M. Troy. The landscaping at the park is a result of numerous volunteers. The Leopold Schmidt family has also given many gifts to the park over the years.
At home in the park is a wide variety of animals. Although not a comprehensive list, here is a listing of the animal species identified in Priest Point Park.
- Picnic Areas
- Picnic Tables
- Picnic Shelters (Rental information)
- Nature Trails
- Beach Access
Due to the park's steep ravines, cliffs and streams, the trail system includes trail sections that exceed 10%, steps and boardwalks. The most accessible shelter is Shelter #1 which has paved parking and an accessible route to the restroom. The playground, adjacent parking and restroom are fully accessible. The playship is on rubber surfacing and is accessible by a ramp.
Ellis Cove Trail:
At the heart of this 314-acre regional nature park is one mile of saltwater shoreline. Ellis Cove is tucked away inside the park and the Ellis Cove Trail further enhances access to more parkland and the views of downtown Olympia and State Capitol buildings.
Developed Facilities Map