Visit a Capitol Land Trust trail! Our four public-access preserve are free to use and do not require a pass. Please Leave No Trace when visiting a preserve, including taking all garbage with you when you leave, respecting wildlife, and leaving what you find. There are no garbage cans at any preserve and no bathrooms at Randall and Hilburn preserves. There is a portable toilet at Bayshore Preserve and Darlin Creek Preserve that have hand sanitizer. We hope you enjoy your walk at one of our preserves as much as we enjoy protecting them! If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please email email@example.com.
Purchased in 2016
Darlin Creek Preserve is a 312-acre preserve in the Black River watershed near Capitol State Forest and adjacent to Capitol Land Trust’s Edwards Conservation Easement.
This acquisition is 15 years in the making. First identified as a conservation priority by The Nature Conservancy, it took nearly a decade to raise the funds to purchase the property. The landowners, Aloha Lumber Corporation, had the opportunity to sell the property as a 45-home sub-development, but gave Capitol Land Trust the opportunity to try to protect it first.
Darlin Creek Preserve protects hundreds of acres of recovering forest, 70 acres of diverse wetland habitat, Lake Lucinda, important wildlife habitat for state and federally listed species, and more than 2 miles of fish-bearing streams: Darlin, Dempsey, and Pants Creeks – all Black River tributaries that run through the property.
Check out the Darlin Creek Preserve birding hotspot on eBird.
Thank you to the following partners:
- Aloha Lumber Corporation/Obsidian Finance Group LLC
- Thurston County
- WA Recreation and Conservation Office
- Washington Coast Restoration Initiative
- The Nature Conservancy
- Capitol Land Trust supporters
CLT Strategic Conservation Goals Achieved:
- Conserve wetlands, riparian areas, and associated upland forests
Darlin Creek Preserve Trail
Plan a visit to Darlin Creek Preserve to enjoy the scenery and wildlife!
Open from dawn till dusk.
Keep pets on leash and dispose of waste properly.
No hunting, fires, fireworks, camping or motorized vehicles.
No removal of vegetation or mushrooms.
Stay on designated trails.
Location: 8910 Lake Lucinda Drive SW, Olympia, WA 98512. Free parking is available at the site.
Bathroom Information: There is a portable toilet with hand sanitizer.
Trail Information: Darlin Creek Preserve Trail Map
The trails are a mixture between dirt, gravel, and old roadbed.
Lake Loop Trail is 1.3 miles long. Heading south from the parking area and following the trail clockwise (see map), the trail follows a level old logging road until the trail splits off from the Wetland Forest Loop Trail, heading southwest (to the right). The trail gently slopes downhill to a narrow footbridge before leveling out again. It gains elevation when it meets back up with Wetland Forest Loop Trail on the west side of the preserve. Continue right to complete the loop along a flat old railroad grade (can be muddy in spots). The trail splits from the railroad grade to head east to Lake Lucinda (to the right). The trail is narrow and slightly downhill to the lake, and then runs across the level top of the earthen dam, and then has a gradual incline back to the parking lot. There is one bench on the west side of this trail.
Wetland Forest Loop Trail is about 2 miles long. Heading clockwise from the parking area, the trail is flat until a slight decline in elevation to a large bridge crossing Darlin Creek. cross the bridge near the Beaver Pond. Check out the flat spur trail just after the bridge for a look at a beaver dam and the pond behind it! After the bridge, the trail increases in elevation and follows an old logging road, with uphill and downhill sections and some uneven footing. At the end of the old logging road, the trail bends north to cross a footbridge (look for the nearby beaver dam!) and connect with an old railroad grade. The railroad grade is very level but may be muddy in spots. After a short distance, the trail reconnects with the Lake Loop Trail and passes by Lake Lucinda (see above description). There are three benches along the Wetland Forest Loop Trail, one at the Beaver Pond, one at the South Beaver Pond, and one along the western portion of the Lake Loop Trail.
The Piedra Trail is about 1 mile long and varies in elevation changes. It is a narrow, mostly dirt path. It ends on Piedra Drive. There is no parking along Piedra Drive, please park in the designated parking lot.
Want to help us care for this preserve? Check out our Trail Steward volunteer opportunity or fill out a short trail report!