Ike Kinswa State Park

Tucked away in southwest Washington State, Ike Kinswa State Park is a quintessential haven offering big recreation opportunities in a relatively small package. Lush forest, cool waters, and soft sandy beaches await in this year-round outdoor play land. Located 60 miles south of Olympia, Washington, Ike Kinswa State Park is set at the confluence of the Tilton and Cowlitz Rivers which are fed by many tributaries flowing from sources such as Mt. Rainier and Mount St. Helens.

Developed campsites nestled in the woods have a special feel, with water, bathrooms, and showers located nearby. If electricity and water in the campsite is desired, 31 sites are available for campers and recreational vehicles, with an additional 41 sites having full hookup capabilities. A dump station is available year-round, and is included in the fee for campers. For the more serious at heart, primitive campsites are also possible. If camping just isn’t your cup of tea, five cabins are located in the park to enhance your experience. Campsite and cabin reservations are recommended of course, and can be made online by visiting https://secure.camis.com/WA/IkeKinswaStatePark or by calling 1-888-CAMP-OUT (1-888-226-7688) to speak with a reservation agent.

Children will delight in the gently sloping beaches that are wide enough for play in as well as out of the water. A charming cove naturally protected from watercraft wakes is large enough to accommodate swimmers of any experience level. Fire grills, horseshoe pits, a playground and lots of picnic areas contribute to the fun.

Freshwater fishing on the lake and two rivers either by boat or from the shore is immensely popular here. Large and smallmouth bass, chinook salmon, rainbow trout, cutthroat and perch are a taste of the fish that habitate these waters. Anglers will be pleased to discover that tiger muskies can be found here, and Mayfield Lake holds the state record for the largest caught — 31.25 pounds! Live bait and lures are cast for these fish, and bag limits vary through the year. An up to date fishing report for Mayfield Lake can be found here: http://www.angelfire.com/wa/nwfishing/Locallakereports.html.

At 14 miles long, Mayfield Lake is a great destination for boating and water skiing, but wetsuits are a good idea for extended skiing sessions since water temperatures can be chilly at times. With the park offering two public boat ramps and 40 feet of dock, all types of watercraft are welcome here; canoers and kayakers will particularly enjoy peaceful boating along the Cowlitz and Tilton River Basins.

Wildlife watchers will be amazed by the amount of mammals and birds in the area. Binoculars should be considered a necessity to enjoy the wide variety of birds that can be found here. A careful watch will reveal ducks and geese, hawks and herons, jays and wrens, woodpeckers and owls; eagles as well as ospreys can be found along the shoreline. Deer and elk live in the area, coyotes are sometimes seen, and even bears and bobcats may make an appearance if a person is patient and observant enough. Miles of hiking trails reveal the natural beauty in the area, with a plethora of plant life including over dozen species of trees.

The nearby towns of Mossyrock and Silver Creek have a full compliment of services, such as groceries, gasoline, propane, hardware and auto repair shops. Lake Mayfield Marina and Resort sits on the southern shore of the lake offering fuel and a lakeside restaurant, and Morton Hospital is 15 miles to the east.

Days could be spent discovering the various activities available in and around Ike Kinswa State Park. Possessing a quiet beauty that can be enjoyed by everyone and so many things to do, visitors will want to return to this retreat year after year.