Holiday Parade of Lights
Parks Appreciation Day
Fort Steilacoom Park is an expansive and historic place where Lakewood locals rub shoulders with visitors from all walks of life. Where joggers, dog owners, families, and festivalgoers come together to share and enjoy some of the most beautiful land the South Sound has to offer. Find out more of the awesome amenities and opportunities for recreation and fun!
Fort Steilacoom Park features include an expansive trail system, baseball, softball, and soccer fields, a state-of-the-art playground, a permanent orienteering course, a radio-controlled aircraft area for hobbyists, historic barns, a 22-acre fenced off-leash dog park, two picnic shelters, year-round restrooms, and an enclosed Pavilion, perfect for summer concerts with outdoor grass seating or for the public to rent for receptions or as a meeting space.
With all these amenities, Fort Steilacoom Park has become a regional draw, boasting more than 1 million visitors annually. And it’s not only the summertime events that bring people to this park. Walkers, runners, and bicyclists of all skill levels enjoy its 5k route through scenic trails that are beautiful year-round and follow the Discovery Trail markers around its nearly 1-mile long paved Waughop Lake Trail loop.
Off-Leash Dog Park+
Is your pup cooped up in the house? Head over to the Fort Steilacoom Dog Park for an adventure with other four-legged friends!
This 22-acre, off-leash fenced area is so vast that its fenced Small Dog section is the size of most dog parks across the Puget Sound. Its sprawling fields, fallen logs, Evergreen groves, and agility courses draw dog owners from across the region to this beautiful canine haven. With water fountains, benches, and shade shelters, you and your dog can stay cool in the summer. And if your pup wants to take a dip, Waughop Lake is only a short walk away.
Since opening in 2006, the Fort Steilacoom Dog Park has been named “Best Dog Park in the South Sound” by South Sound Magazine and “Best Dog Park in Western Washington” by King 5’s Evening Magazine.
As part of its commitment to continually improve upon its parks, the City of Lakewood added year-round restrooms beside the main entrance in 2022 and the following year they unveiled a new parking lot on the northeast entrance.
Looking for that perfect hike that’s not too far from home? Ditch the long drive and take a hike at Fort Steilacoom Park!
Walkers, runners, and bicyclists of all skill levels enjoy the park’s 5k route through an expansive trail system that offers scenic beauty year-round. With clearings of tall grass that separate groves of evergreens, redwoods, sequoias, sycamores, poplars, and chestnut trees, these offer natural beauty for every season.
If you’re looking for a lighter walk, simply follow the Discovery Trail markers around the 1-mile long, paved Waughop Lake Trail loop.
Looking for the perfect walk in Lakewood? Take the Waughop Lake Trail loop!
Walkers, runners, and bicyclists of all skill levels enjoy the nearly 1-mile long paved loop year-round. Wrapping around the picturesque Waughop Lake, the trail loop was paved in 2017, enabling strollers, bicycles, and scooters to glide around the water. It also features benches, a couple of docks, and Discovery Trail signs that provide education on the history of the area. Its short length and rustic scenery make the Waughop Lake Trail loop perfect for families looking to enjoy an evening walk or a day off.
Birders are always on the lookout for ducklings and coots on the lake as well as a host of other feathered species in surrounding trees. And if your pup gets too hot at the off-leash dog park in the summer, Waughop Lake is only a short walk away. Just remember they must remain on leash.
Fort Steilacoom Park and its surrounding land that is now developed, was once used by the Nisqually and Steilacoom Indian tribes as a food source and gathering place before settlers and fur traders moved into the region.
Subsequent uses included its transformation to a military fort that hosted a number of Army lieutenants and captains who went on to hold key roles in the Civil War — and one who even became President of the United States. Other uses of the property over the years include a farm maintained by patients at Western State Hospital.
Owned by the state of Washington but maintained by the City of Lakewood, in 2018 the State Legislature agreed to transfer ownership of the park to the City. That same year, the City of Lakewood built the park’s enclosed pavilion in partnership with the Rotary Club of Lakewood. In the years since the City of Lakewood has proudly continued the state’s longstanding tradition of maintaining and improving the beloved park.