Seminary Hill Natural Area
This 72-acre hillside is dense with second-growth trees and carefully tended hikes. Even in the heat of summer, the canopy of fir, maple and cedar keeps the trails cool as trillium. Maidenhair ferns and other natural wonders flourish around you.
Enter on the eastern edge of downtown Centralia at the corner of Locust Street and Barner Drive.
Chehalis River Discovery Trail
This trail is actually northwest of Centralia, but it contains a beautiful stretch of the Chehalis River. Watch for bald eagles overhead and plan to pick blackberries if you visit in late July.
Enter from Goodrich Road off Old Highway 99.
Stations of the Cross
The DeGoede family, devout Catholics who settled in Lewis County and raise tulips, made a trail on a hillside near Mossyrock leading from a humble chapel to a grand 50-foot-tall cross built on a bluff overlooking Lake Mayfield.
The trail is adorned with a painting depicting the 12 Stations of the Cross. Directions are available at DeGoede Bulb Farm and Garden, (360) 983-9000.
Willapa Hills Trail
Known locally as the “rails to trails,” this 56-mile-long path runs from Chehalis to the Pacific Coast town of South Bend.
Partially paved, the trail runs through farmland and winds up the Chehalis River Valley and into the namesake Willapa Hills.
The trail is popular with bikers, joggers and even Scout troops that take on the entire hike as a week-long excursion
Hit the Links in Lewis County (Golf)
Riverside Golf Club offers 18 holes along the Chehalis River that have become a favorite for the most seasoned golfers in the area.
The course, situated at the north end of Chehalis just behind the Chehalis-Centralia Airport, offers a scenic course that offers a great way to relax and unwind while still offering a challenge.
Riverside is also home to several events, such as the annual Lewis County Amateur, United Way Golf Tournament, Ladies Night and more.
Aside from the sport of golf itself, Riverside has also begun a pickleball league that uses space under the pavilion to the north of the clubhouse. The course also hosts several events in its restaurant and Roof Top Bar, including the ever popular Comedy at the Course series.
A full-service pro shop comes fully stocked with apparel, equipment and more to help improve and hone one’s game. Golf lessons are available from the Pro Shop as well.
For people coming in from outside the area, Riverside also offers an RV park. Call (360) 748-8182 for more information about available hookups and amenities.
Visit www.playriversidegolf.com or follow them on Facebook at Facebook.com/riverside.golfclub for more information and updates on events throughout the year.
Where: 1451 NW Airport Rd., Chehalis
Contact: (360) 748-8182
One of the hidden gems of our area lies just west of Rochester, where the Dunson brothers operate a quaint par-3 golf course on land they own.
Stop by with clubs of your own or borrow some from the owners, and just enjoy a quick round on nine holes that may prove to be a surprising challenge. Navigating water, trees, bumps and ridges requires a bit of technical skill to one’s game.
The course is entirely playable with a few irons, pitching wedge and a putter. One is best served leaving the drivers and woods at home.
There’s no fee to play, but donations are encouraged. The course is open seven days a week, and if you’re looking for a quirky yet fun golf outing, the Gate Ranch Golf Course has offered just that for more than a decade.
For more information on Gate Ranch Golf Course, call (360) 273-7074.
Where: 11900 Hunter Rd. SW, Rochester
Contact: (360) 273-7074
If you’re looking to play a quick round on a rustic, nine-hole course while taking in all the sights of mountainous East Lewis County, consider a stop at Ironwood Green in Glenoma just off U.S. Highway 12.
The executive course features 1,512 yards of golf. It’s a par 30. According to golfnow.com, it was designed by James Redman and opened in 1983.
Where: 8138 Highway 12, Glenoma
Contact: (360) 498-5425
Newaukum Valley Golf Course
Three nine-hole groupings known as the South Nine, East Nine and West Nine each have a style all their own while bringing golfers through tranquil areas near the Newaukum River. The South Course leaves little to no room for error, the East Course is a bit more forgiving, and the West Course is deceptive in its short length yet golfers need to be technical and precise.
The course offers both a Men’s Club and Ladies’ Club. Contact their front desk for more details on involvement and how to sign up.
Two recent changes to the West Course offer new ways to get into the game of golf. Hack Golf aims to provide novice golfers a wider cup — 15 inches in diameter — to allow for work on one’s short and putting game. An entirely new tweak to the game, FootGolf, is also available. Bring your soccer ball or rent one from the course and book a tee time to enjoy the game of golf with your foot as the driving force.
Newaukum Valley Golf Course is home to The Grill, offering a variety of food and availability for events. Call 748-0461 for more information.
Where: 153 Newaukum Golf Drive, Chehalis
Contact: (360) 748-0461
Underwater Ghost Towns
The towns of Mayfield, Riffe and Kosmos are located under Riffe Lake — a result of building the Mayfield and Mossyrock dams in the 1960s. You can see the towns if the water level is low enough.
More than 4,000 years ago, the Cowlitz and Yakama tribes inhabited the area — an interpretive display is at the park with more information about the location’s history.
Where: 117 Cayuse Lane, Glenoma
Contact: (360) 295-3711
Justice General Store, Onalaska
Step back in time when you visit the quaint Justice General Store, with its wooden floors and old-fashioned ambiance. It is said to be the oldest continually running grocery store in Washington.
Where: 116 Main St., Onalaska
Contact: (360) 978-4194
World’s Largest Egg
A giant egg that bills itself as the world’s largest pays tribute to the towns days of being home to a chicken co-operative.
Where: 520 Kerron St., Winlock
Once a mega-store that carried everything from clothing to pets, the building that housed it has now been repurposed into a home for several small shops comprising the largest swap meet in the region. The Yard Bird itself, the giant structure greeting people on National Avenue, has been voted KING 5 Evening Magazine’s Best Roadside Attraction.
Where: 2100 N. National Ave., Chehalis
Contact: (360) 748-1489
St. Urban Church
Once the religious centerpiece of a town that is no longer, St. Urban Church opened in 1891. It was restored in 2010 after having been slated to be destroyed. A cemetery from years past sits behind the structure.
Where: Military Road, Winlock
Built in 1858, the Claquato Church is thought to be the oldest Protestant church in the Pacific Northwest and it’s included on the National Register of Historic Places. The church also hosts some events throughout the year, including the Lewis County Historical Museum’s Pioneer Pie Social in the summer.
Where: 125 Water St., Chehalis
Contact: (360) 748-4551
Fort Borst Park
This 101-acre park includes the 1860s Borst Home, a one-room schoolhouse replica as well as the Fort Borst blockhouse. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children aged 5 to 12 years and $10 for families (Borst Home admission). Head west on Harrison Avenue in Centralia. Turn left on Johnson Road, go past the middle school and swimming pool. Follow the signs to the Borst Home.
Contact: (360) 330-7688
McMenamins Olympic Club remains one of Centralia’s most popular destinations — that’s not surprising since it comprises a restaurant and bar, a hotel and even a movie theater. If you go, be sure to pick up some locally brewed beer to go.
Where: 112 N. Tower Ave., Centralia
Contact: (360) 736-5164
DeGoede Bulb Farm
If strolling through 30 acres of tulips sounds like a nice way to spend an afternoon, consider visiting the family-owned DeGoede Bulb Farm and Gardens, located just off U.S. Highway 12. The family first grew flowers in Holland, then later moved to Mount Vernon, Wash., and finally to their current location in Mossyrock. There are also 100 greenhouses, a garden center and a show garden with a pond and waterfall.
Where: 409 Mossyrock Road West, Mossyrock
Contact: (360) 983-9000
Veterans Memorial Museum
The Veterans Memorial Museum showcases the personal histories of veterans from Lewis County. Several events throughout the year pay tribute to people from across our region who have served overseas and in support roles in armed conflict.
Where: 100 S.W. Veterans Way, Chehalis
Contact: (360) 740-8875
Lewis County Historical Museum
Housed in a 1912 Northern Pacific Railroad depot in downtown Chehalis, the Lewis County Historical Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history and heritage of Lewis County. The museum is also home to a local model railroad club.
Where: 599 N.W. Front Way, Chehalis
Contact: (360) 748-0831
The 1845 Jackson House was the first pioneer home built north of the Columbia River. It’s located near Lewis and Clark State Park. Take U.S. Highway 12 to Mary’s Corner and turn south on Jackson Highway, where you’ll see it just off the side of the road.
Contact: (360) 864-2643
The Vintage Antique Motorcycle Museum
This private collection includes original and fully restored pre-1916 Indians, Harley-Davidson Excelsiors and other vehicles and bicycles. It’s a stunning testament to America’s love of horsepower. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays or by appointment. Admission is $5.
Where: 545 N. Market Blvd., Chehalis
Contact: (360) 748-3472
Chehalis-Centralia Steam Train and Museum
Thousands of people visit the Chehalis-Centralia Steam Train and Museum each year, and for good reason. The facility, located along Interstate 5 near the Veterans Memorial Museum at 1101 SW Sylvenus St, Chehalis, offers special rides on its antique locomotives throughout the year. Rides take passengers through the rolling fields and countryside of West Lewis County. The regular season includes Saturdays and Sundays May 28-Aug.28 and Sept. 3-Sept. 24. Trains leave the station at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. on Saturdays, 1 and 3 p.m. on Sundays. There are also special events throughout the year, including dinner trains, Easter trains and Santa trains. Get all the details online at www.steamtrainride.com. Call (360) 748-9593 for additional information.