Olmstead Place Historical State Park

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Pull off fast-paced Interstate 90, and step back to a slower time at Olmstead Place Historical State Park near Ellensburg. 

In 1875, the pioneering Olmstead family homesteaded the land claim at the site of the current state park. They originally raised grain and beef cattle. The family switched from beef to dairy in 1892, producing butter for the Seattle market. Three generations of the family farmed this land over many decades. Donated to State Parks in 1968, Olmstead Place reflects farming history, with historic equipment, a 1908 hay barn and smaller barns, sheds and coops that date from the late-19th century on into recent times. A tour of the original cottonwood log cabin reveals fascinating historic furniture and artifacts.  

Take a stroll through the beautiful heritage gardens, blooming with  a profusion of flowers throughout the warm seasons. Meander down the Altapes Interpretive Trail, which lies along Coleman Creek. Check the online calendar for a schedule of interpretive activities. 

Bring the kids and history lovers in your family for a prescheduled tour or just come on your own. Don’t forget your picnic basket and camera, or even your easel. With its rustic buildings, country landscapes and colorful blooms, Olmstead Place is an artist’s dream.

When you’re ready to get back in the car, don’t worry; the 21st century will still be out there.

Park features


Olmstead Place Historical State Park is a 221-acre day-use park on an original 1875 pioneer homestead only a few miles from Ellensburg. 
  1. Activities
  2. History
  3. Maps

ADA amenities/facilities


  • Restroom
  • Hiking trail
Use our interactive ADA recreation map to search for other state parks with ADA amenities and facilities.

Picnic & day-use facilities

There are 17 unsheltered picnic tables in the park, along with a restroom.

Activities


Trails


  • 1 mile of hiking trails

Water activities & features


  • Fishing (freshwater)

Winter activities & features


  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing

Other activities & features


  • Heirloom gardens
  • Museum
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Photography

Interpretive opportunities


This homestead offers free school or group field trips and public tours by advance appointment. Learn the story of the Olmstead-Smith family through an indoor tour that may include the 1875 log cabin, the Smith House museum and/or the hay barn. Outdoor tour/field trip themes can include historic, natural or cultural topics. Highlights include homesteading, gardening and agriculture in the Kittitas Valley; Coleman Creek, ecology and local wildlife/plants; and changes in culture, family and lifestyle between 1875 and the 1960s. Other relevant topics also may be explored.

To schedule a tour or field trip, call the park at (509) 925-1943.

Additional information


  • Fishing season for Coleman Creek is June 1 to Oct. 31.
  • A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington state parks. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
  • Garden weddings or events also can be booked by calling the office.
  • Printable park brochure.