Eight miles to the south of Washington’s capital, Olympia, Millersylvania State Park occupies 903 acres of immensely scenic natural exhibits within the 774 square miles of Thurston County. The park’s most prominent feature is the 66-acre Deep Lake, which is a popular fishing spot for locals and visitors alike. RV camping opportunities can be found on the eastern shores of the lake. The campgrounds are immersed in the scenic beauty the surrounding area has to offer. Other natural features of the park include cedar and fir forestations, 16 miles of scenic hiking and biking trails, and a wide variety of unusually striking flora and fauna. The park’s property once belonged to John Miller who, along with his family, named it Miller’s Glade, but later changed it to Millersylvania in 1921 when they gave away the property to be used as a state park. Remnants of the 19th century can still be found in the park in the form of skid roads, logging industries, and railway systems, making the park a historically significant site. The park was also reportedly home to a rare species of freshwater crab, now gone extinct due to overfishing.
Established in 1935 by the Civilian Corporation Corps (CCC), the park offers many recreational opportunities like fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, biking, picnicking, outdoor sports, and the best of all, RV camping. Whether you're accustomed to full-time van life or renting a camper for the first time, the park’s campground is bursting with partial hookup sites for RV campers. The park is open for camping and other activities during the spring, summer, and fall, which make up the peak season months. During winter, fewer camping facilities are available, but the park stays open for day visitors. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your RV road trip to Millersylvania State Park today.
RV Rentals in Millersylvania State Park
Transportation in Millersylvania State Park
Millersylvania State Park is located on WA-121 between the cities of Olympia and Centralia, Washington. Via Interstate 5, the park is approximately 40 miles south of Tacoma, Washington, and 107 miles north of Portland, Oregon.
A Discover Pass is required for all the vehicles entering the park, and these can be bought at the Ranger Station or an automated pay station within the park. Please drive with caution once you are inside the park. Sufficient parking options are available inside the park, and the maximum vehicle length is 60 feet. A vehicle must only be parked at its designated campsite within the campground, and no more than two RV vehicles may occupy a campsite.
Campgrounds and parking in Millersylvania State Park
Campsites in Millersylvania State Park
The Campground at Millersylvania State Park
Millersylvania State Park’s campground features 94 standard campsites. These sites can be used for both tent and RV camping. The maximum RV length for standard sites is 35 feet. These sites do not provide any hookups. There are 45 RV sites with partial hookups, which includes 30-amp electric and water. These sites can accommodate RVs as large as 60 feet. No more than two RVs or motorhomes can occupy any campsite, and a maximum of eight persons is allowed per site. The sites are pet-friendly, and a few sites also feature handicap accessibility. There are three restrooms, one being ADA compliant, and there are also eight showers, two being ADA compliant. A dumping station is also located on-site. The sites can only be occupied for 10 consecutive days and can be reserved in advance. Engine-powered, electric generators are only permitted during the day.
Off-Site RV Camping
If all the RV sites at Millersylvania State Park are spoken for, or if you just prefer a campground with more amenities, you may want to consider searching for a place to park the pop-up outside of the park. Luckily, the proximity to Olympia means that your options are virtually limitless. There are plenty of RV resorts in the area, many of which include top-notch camping luxuries like hot showers, cable television, Wi-Fi, playgrounds, heated pools, and more to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.
The Cottage and Group Center
If you decide that you want to leave the RV behind for this trip, there are plenty of other overnight options to choose from. A lovely lakeside cottage comprising of two stories sits on the shores of Deep Lake, and it is large enough for six guests. The cottage contains a fully-equipped kitchen, master bedroom, living room, alcoves, and bathroom.
A group rental facility, called Millersylvania Environmental Learning Center, for large groups of up to 150 people, contains a dining hall, kitchen, 19 cabins, an amphitheater, a private swimming pool, game courts, and restrooms is available for reservations. There are separate cabins for girls and boys.
Seasonal activities in Millersylvania State Park
Due to the proximity of Washington's capital, Olympia, it's possible to get more out of your camping trip to Millersylvania State Park than you may think. Olympia offers access to more hiking and biking trails, vineyards, wineries, breweries, farm to table dining opportunities, and more. Olympic National Park is just over an hour's drive from the park and can make for an exciting day trip. If you have time, point the camper towards the town (or beyond) and discover more of what this charming region has to offer.
Deep Lake offers opportunities for boaters to launch their non-motorized watercraft into the lake. If you didn't haul your own boat behind the rig, there are rentals available on-site. Paddleboards, kayaks, and pedal boats are available for rent from Lakeside Grill and Boats, which is open seasonally. A boat launching ramp can be found on either side of the lake. Boating requires a park permit, and the park’s speed limit for watercraft is set at five miles per hour.
Millersylvania State Park encompasses the 66-acre Deep Lake, which offers 3,300 feet of sandy shores and swimming beaches to spend a summer day or weekend splashing in the water. Here, you can go for a dip at either of the two swimming beaches on the lakeside, work on your tan, or simply let the stress melt away with your toes in the sand. Whether you're swimming or sitting lakeside, you'll enjoy the impressive views of Deep Lake as well as the nature that surrounds the water.
Millersylvania State Park’s Deep Lake is of great interest to the fishing enthusiasts. The lake is abundant in its supplies of various fish species, which include rainbow trout, largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and yellow perch, to name a few. But before beginning to enjoy the perks of the fishing opportunities at the lake, make sure you have a fishing license stored away somewhere in your RV. A dock built on the lake serves as a fishing pier. If you're looking to try something new, you can also harvest shellfish at Millersylvania.
Millersylvania State Park provides outstanding outdoor picnicking opportunities in various forms. There are four electric kitchen shelters and as many as 165 picnic tables. 125 out of those 165 picnic tables are sheltered, while others are non-sheltered. Kitchen shelters one and three are reservable and come equipped with a wooden stove, grill, sink, and outlets and can seat up to 50 people each. Shelter one provides an additional fireplace too. Shelter two can also accommodate up to 50 people and provides the necessary kitchen equipment.
From memorials to lakeshores to wildlife-filled forests, you won't want to be without your camera on this RV camping trip. There are many sights of historical importance within the park that you may want to document. Most of the park’s buildings were crafted by hand by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park also features a few remnants from the 19th century, including narrow-gauge railway systems, logging industry, and road structures. The fall is an especially good time for photographers to visit due to the lack of other campers and the beautiful fall foliage that surrounds the lake.
Millersylvania State Park holds the reputation of being built almost entirely by the hands of the Civilian Corporation Corps (CCC) in 1935. In 2009, the park was added to the list of the National Register of Historic Places as a remembrance of the CCC craftsmanship. The park’s Interpretive Center narrates fascinating stories of how the CCC built nearly the entire park by hand, including the artistic kitchen shelters and bathhouses. A stone memorial, built near the first bathhouse, stands in memory of the park’s former owners, the Miller Family. Drop by the park’s Interpretive Center to look closely into the park’s great history and learn about the CCC’s incredible efforts.
Hiking and Biking
Millersylvania State Park has delightful offerings for hikers and bikers looking to get out of the camper and enjoy gorgeous hiking and biking routes. The park features over eight miles of hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty ranges. Over 7.5 trails are reserved for mountain biking. The park’s terrains are incredible in their beauty of tall, thick cedar and fir trees, charming bird species, and lovely wildflowers. The trails offer pleasant vistas of the park’s scenic spots ranging from beaches and shorelines to thickly forested regions. There is a one-mile exercise trail providing the additional benefit of sightseeing while sustaining fitness and health. Navigating the park's trails in the fall is especially rewarding as you can experience the changing of the leaves and not worry about sharing the path with other visitors.
There is plenty of nature to explore in Millersylvania State Park. The park has opportunities for birding and wildlife viewing while relishing the marvels of nature. The park is abounding with cedar and fir trees, which shade most of the park’s region and provide great scenic views. Although Millersylvania neighbors large cities, you wouldn't know it when you step foot into the quiet forested areas of the park. If you have patient eyes, you might get to see some wildlife up close.