Located about fifteen miles west of Chehalis, Washington, is this interesting little state park. It’s most notable fact is that it is split down the middle by the main road in the area. Which in turn is next to the river, and there is no way to cross the river inside the park. You have to travel several miles past the park to the bridge and backtrack to the main entrance. Otherwise you’ll be stuck on the south bank with nothing but a few trails to wander. These trails are crisscrossed with a main outer loop connecting them all. You could get lost, but thankfully some rather genius human put signs up with numbers to help you on your way.
Also on the south bank is a group eating area that looks as though no one has bothered to use it in years. I’m not sure why you would want to use it either, it looks slightly decrepid and the north side has a mammoth sized day picnic area. Maybe you just find yourself as the anti-social/scared-of-others bracket. Then this space maybe perfect for you. Plus with the added element of getting crushed by the structure could add an adrenaline rush that is hard to pass up. Honestly it’s not that bad, it is just next to the road and so I’m discouraging you from making a poor choice. The north bank is flooded with green space and would make for a wonderful day use park. Especially for those with very large groups.
What else did we find? The trails mentioned earlier were gorgeous even if they are very short. This was also because we are here in spring, so the greens are in full mind bending variety. Wild flowers were everywhere, but sparsely spread apart. My wife was in full flower mode, I ended up with almost a dozen separate flowers and bushes from her camera. It had rained earlier that morning; so we even had the rain drops still playing around on the forest floor helping add to the palette laid before us.
Then my worst nightmare came to life. We came across this tree bottom with holes larger than my tiny head. It sunk into my brain that only a ginormous woodpecker could make a hole this big. After that I had to walk with very shifty eyes; not knowing whether or not he was plotting to peck my head. I figured I was likely not large enough prey for such a monster, but still the chills would crawl over me whenever I heard a distant thumping of a tree. The thumping was probably not a woodpecker in the distance, but just the beating of my heart. It was terrifying.
You should know that I just don’t trust birds, I’m not actually scared of them. If I was truly scared of birds I’d hunt down the person who slung their shoes onto the wire over the river. That is a skill I could use to defend myself!!! The excitement this person must have felt for achieving such a useless act of awesome must be applauded by others. Alright, I’ll admit it, I’m a jealous shoe thrower. The best I’ve achieved is flinging my flip-flops into a laundry basket from about 9 feet away. I must practice more.
Conclusion of the matter: 3 of 5. The space is split down the middle with no crossing, that is annoying. The road that separates the two spaces is actually quite busy, and even when you’re at the back of the woods on the trails you can hear the cars roaring by. On the flip side the north picnic zone is by far the largest we have seen yet and a church of thousand members could have a service there with space to stretch. In the end though, this state park is average at best.