Frye Cove County Park is in Thurston County on the west shore of Eld Inlet, north of Flapjack Point on Steamboat Island. The park was acquired in 1973 and named after George W. Frye who owned the property on the shore north of Flapjack Point.
The park offers restrooms, picnic tables, playground, and picnic shelters, 1400 feet of saltwater beach, and a view of Mount Rainier on a clear day. A nicely-maintained loop hiking trail can be found from the edge of the parking lot. The trail offers some branching trails, although the main loop is 1.25 miles itself.
Join the trail that can be found behind the small outbuilding near the parking lot. There is currently no sign directing you to the trailhead. You can take the trail in either direction, as you will end up back here after completing the loop.
The route has rolling hills along the loop: dropping down repeatedly to sea level near the water then heading back up through the forest. The trail is mostly forested with views of Frye Cove along the south and east portions of the trail. At low tide, mudflats are exposed at sea level and in winter months, the trail can get muddy near the water’s edge. At high tide, the bright green blue color of the cove glimmers through the trees. Watch for a variety of native birds near the water.
Several varieties of tall, towering trees can be found along this trail: Hemlock, Western redcedar, Douglas Fir, Alder, Big Leaf Maple. Lower shrubs fill in the landscape such as sword ferns, Oregon grape, holly and trillium in the spring.
The dirt trail is wide and provides views of the water and on a sunny day, a view of Mount Rainier can be seen. Small wooden signs give guidance for direction along the trail, although easy to miss. Parts of the trail has wooden stairs, rails and one flat wooden bridge. Benches can be found along the trail for resting or taking in the views. The trail crosses Giddings Road Northwest once on this loop and offers a cross walk.