We are pretty lucky where we live. Sure the weather can be—as some locals call it—uncooperative, but when the sun shines there are few more beautiful places in the country. Along with nice weather comes activities that we wait eagerly for on rainy days—hiking, playing outside, golfing or going for a walk to name a few. But one often overlooked outdoor activity is the simple act of eating outdoors—picnicking.
Luckily for us, there are several places around Lewis County that are perfect for a picnic. Whether it be a planned trip out of town or an impromptu picnic in town during a lunch break. One thing is for sure, taking advantage of good weather to eat outdoors in the Pacific Northwest is always a good idea.
The Hub Cap
The Hub Cap is a small sculpture park in Centralia maintained by Rebecca Staebler, and it’s a great place to go when you’re looking for a picnic spot on the go. The park is filled with flowers and plants that attract butterflies. You can grab a to-go lunch from one of the many restaurants in downtown Centralia, including Boccatta, and enjoy your time outdoors amongst the sculptures.
Ike Kinswa State Park
Since Ike Kinswa State Park in Silver Creek is a state park, you’ll either need a Discover Pass or you’ll pay a ten dollar admission fee, but either way you’ll enjoy a day at the lake. The park includes a roped off swimming area, picnic tables and a play structure. A picnic on the shores of Mayfield Lake makes for a great day of fun in the sun.
Rotary Riverside Park
Rotary Riverside Park in Centralia offers variety to picnic goers with covered picnic tables near the playground area as well as open areas perfect for bringing a blanket and choosing a spot of your liking along the river. With a play structure at the Fuller’s Twin City Skate Park right next door, Riverside is a great destination for kids of all ages.
Seminary Hill Natural Area
Another family-friendly picnic destination is the Seminary Hill Natural Area in Centralia. A covered picnic area makes it ideal for fueling up before heading out on the trails or taking a break to nosh after your hike. Either way, the Seminary Hill Natural Area is a full of adventure and great scenery.
Another picnic location that has a lot to offer families is Penny Playground in Chehalis. With lots of room to play and covered picnic tables, it’s easy to spend a day at this playground. Also, it is within easy walking distance to the Shaw Aquatic Center and the Chet and Henrietta Spray Park. So you can turn your picnic into a mini park tour if the mood strikes you.
Forest Learning Center at Mount Saint Helens
Take a trip to explore Mount Saint Helens and plan a picnic while you’re at it! There are many great picnic locations near the mountain, but be sure to check out the Forest Learning Center. Admission is free and there’s a lot to learn and do at the visitor’s center. Enjoy your picnic and then continue to explore the mountain.
Chet and Henrietta Rhodes Spray Park
Located in Chehalis, this quaint park has covered picnic tables, a play structure and a spray park. The Chet and Henrietta Rhodes Spray Park is perfect for family picnics with the kids. It’s also easy to pair your picnic with a trip to the Shaw Aquatics Center because it is right next door. Either way, be sure to pack your sandals, your swim suit and sunscreen.
Rainbow Falls State Park
Get your Discover Pass ready (or pay the admission fee for non-Discover Pass holders). Rainbow Falls State Park is a picnic destination that offers miles of hiking trails through old growth forests. Rainbow Falls is also a great place to go fishing and swimming. If you’re headed out to go fishing, make sure you have your recreational license.
Large enough for you to choose one of many ideal spots for a picnic, Borst Park is another great picnic destination. The play structures are fun for kids and there are also many different walking trails. Have your picnic at a table or pack a blanket and choose a spot to eat near the historic Borst Home.
Whether you are looking for a place to enjoy your lunch during a break in your workday or looking to make it a destination, there are many places to picnic in Lewis County.