Straight shot of paved trail. On left side is red tree turning colors for fall and on right side are yellow trees.

Fort Steilacoom Park

Fort Steilacoom Park is Lakewood’s largest park. At 340 acres, there is plenty to do for anyone who comes for a visit. Whether you want to go on a nature walk, fly a drone, or let your dog off-leash for a while, Fort Steilacoom Park has it all.

8714 87th Ave SW, Lakewood, WA 98498

Facility Rentals

About Fort Steilacoom Park

Fort Steilacoom Park brings in more than 1 million visitors yearly. This is due to its many amenities and rich history. The park, and surrounding land that is now developed, was used by the Nisqually and Steilacoom Indian tribes as a food source. It was also a gathering place before settlers and fur traders moved into the region.

During the Civil War, Fort Steilacoom hosted Army lieutenants and Captains who played major roles in the war. In more recent history, the property was used as a farm maintained by patients at Western State Hospital.

Fort Steilacoom Park was previously owned by the State of Washington. However, in 2018, the State Legislature transferred ownership to Lakewood. This was to continue Lakewood’s longstanding tradition of maintaining and improving the beloved park.

Pardon Our Dust: Moving the “Big One” (Tenzler Log) to Ft. Steilacoom Park

Last year, the City of Lakewood agreed to take ownership of the “Big One”, a large log section located in front of the Flora B. Tenzler Memorial Library. The City must now determine a new location for the log to be moved, as well as how to safely install and display it for the public to enjoy. 

Big One History:   The giant cut section of a Douglas fir tree sitting in front of the Lakewood Library is known as The Big One.  The tree was born in 1359 and cut in 1945, making it 586 years old when felled.  In 1946, with great fanfare, the log was unveiled to the public and displayed at the Northwest Door Company Plant in Tacoma.  The company’s president, Herman E Tenzler, added signs showing the age of the tree and famous events during its lifetime.  In 1965 they moved and installed the log at the Lakewood Library where it’s been on display 24 hours a day in a specially built glass enclosure at the front of the library.  At 12′ 9″ in diameter and 40′ in circumference, it is said to be the largest Douglas fir tree ever to be cut.  The section on display weighs approximately 9¼ tons.

In November, 2023 Council reviewed various options to house the historic log. Ultimately, decision was made to place this log at Fort Steilacoom Park due to the following considerations:

  • Regional Park location with historic amenities
  • Parking nearby and access to trails
  • ADA access exists throughout the site
  • Hundreds of thousands of annual visitors
    High visibility for public viewing
  • Natural surveillance based on park visitors
  • Could be located along Nisqually Loop Trail
  • Could add Indigenous /Nisqually history to current American historic markers
    Existing historic features and interpretive displays along Discovery Trail(s) to supplement experience.
  • Natural Setting to match display
    Scale of installation is appropriate to site
  • Easy access for semi-truck and crane
  • Space to add an enclosure to support the display without encroachment to existing site amenities

On February 5, 2024, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Staff provides an update on a current partnership with the Nisqually Tribe to curate an outdoor exhibit along Waughop Lake in Fort Steilacoom Park. As part of the themes being explored, a stop at the historic log was discussed as a place to share additional information.

On March 14, 2024, an interlocal agreement between Pierce County Library System (PCLS) and City of Lakewood was formalized to receive the log and place it at Fort Steilacoom Park.

On April 8, 2024, staff prepared a summary of costs and recommendation for council action to pursue construction of a log cradle, and shelter for the historic log at Fort Steilacoom Park.

Additional resources:


Fort Steilacoom Park amenities include:

  • Expansive Trail System
  • Sports fields (baseball, softball, and soccer)
  • Permanent orienteering course
  • Drone/RC flight area
  • Off-Leash Dog Parks
  • Picnic Shelters
  • Year-round bathrooms

Trail System:

The trail system at Fort Steilacoom Park is perfect for any activity or skill level. More experienced runners can use the dedicated 5k route, while those looking for a relaxing walk can use the 1-mile long paved Waughop Lake Trail.

Trail Information and Map

Waughop Lake Trail loops Waughop Lake in the heart of our 340-acre Fort Steilacoom Park. Paved and expanded in 2017, the nearly 1-mile trail features lake views and is ideal for strollers, bicycles, and all skill levels.

The trail is used for walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. There are benches along the walking path, two docks, and Discovery Trail educational signs detailing the history of the location. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash.

Trails - Fort Steilacoom Park

Drone/RC Flight Area:

Fort Steilacoom offers a large area for drone or RC enthusiasts to fly their aircraft. Visit our RC Fly Area web page for more information.

Off-Leash Dog Park:

The Fort Steilacoom Dog Park has 22 acres of fenced, off-leash open space located near the historic barns and Waughop Lake Trail. Visit our off-leash dog park web page for more information.

Permanent Orienteering Course:

Orienteering is a fun way to get outdoors while using problem-solving skills. Use a map and a compass to find the way through Fort Steilacoom’s orienteering course as fast as you can. Visit the Cascade Orienteering Club website for more information.

Events at Fort Steilacoom Park

The City of Lakewood uses Fort Steilacoom Park to host events year-round. Check out some of these events below, or visit the City Events Page to see all events.

Lakewood Farmer’s Market

Enjoy warm weather, fresh produce, food truck treats, and wonderful memories at the Lakewood Farmers Market. Now on Tuesdays, the market features a rich selection of vendors and tons of activities for kids and families. For more information, visit the Lakewood Farmer’s Market page.

A man smiles widely while holding his groceries at the Farmers Market.
The opening day of the Lakewood, WA Farmers Market.

Summer Nights at the Pavilion Concerts

Set up lawn chairs or throw down a blanket and enjoy live music at Fort Steilacoom Park! Our outdoor concerts follow the Lakewood Farmers Markets on Tuesdays this summer. Bring a snack from the market, claim your spot, enjoy a great performance, and “cut a rug” on the dance floor. For concert schedule and more information, visit the Summer Nights at the Pavilion page.

Members of the band Paperback Writer perform on the Pavilion stage at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, WA for the city's free summer concert series.
Paperback Writer (Beatles Tribute) perform at the Fort Steilacoom Park Pavilion.

Lakewood SummerFest

Every year, Lakewood hosts a Summer Festival at Fort Steilacoom Park. Thousands visit Lakewood every year to enjoy this summer spectacle. Be dazzled by classic cars, amazed by international performances, and delighted by unique flavors. For more information, visit the Lakewood SummerFest page.

Hot air balloons tethered to the ground glow against the night sky at Lakewood SummerFEST 2023.
Hot air balloons during a “Balloon Glow” at Lakewood’s SummerFEST.

Fiesta de la Familia

Enjoy food, live entertainment, an art show, and hands-on crafts. See roaming entertainers. Kids will enjoy balloon making, face painting and can participate in a children’s parade. Make sure they wear their best Fiesta attire or favorite costume. Visit the Fiesta de la Familia page for more information.

Two people dance at the Fiesta de la Familia at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, WA.
Professional dancers give a demonstration at Fiesta de la Familia.

Facility Rentals

Interested in holding your event at Fort Steilacoom Park? We have five shelters available to rent, as well as all of our sports fields. See below for information on shelter and sports field rentals at Fort Steilacoom Park.

For information on renting the Pavilion at Fort Steilacoom Park for a special event, please visit our Special Event Reservations page.

Shelter Rentals and Special Use

1. Check availability and submit an application

To check for shelter availability, please call (253) 983-7887 or email Nikki York at [email protected]

Submit your application prior to the scheduled event. (Note: Submit your application early to increase your chances of securing your desired date.) Please be prepared to make payment upon approval of your application.

Submit applications to:

  • Email: [email protected] (preferred)
  • In-person: Lakewood City Hall, first-floor front desk, 6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood, WA 98499.

Before submitting your application, please review the permit agreement (PDF).

2. Review and approval/denial

Following the review of an application, staff will contact the applicant regarding their request. This could include follow-up questions and additional requirements, if necessary.

Once all conditions are met, final confirmation will occur and payment is required. Payment can be made over the phone with a credit card, or in person at Lakewood City Hall (6000 Main St SW) via cash or check.

Note: No refunds will be issued for cancellations less than 30 days before event, or due to weather.


Shelter #1 – Large Shelter

Accommodates 100 people. Includes electricity, water, and two barbecues. Located near the playground and sports fields.

Full Day Rental: $200
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Shelter #2 – Near the Playground

Accommodates 25 people. It has one barbecue and water, but no access to electricity.

Full Day Rental: $100
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Shelter #3 – Near Angle Lane

Accommodates 25 people. It has one barbecue and no access to electricity or water. This is located near a grassy, open space behind the playground.

Full Day Rental: $100
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Shelter #4 – Near Baseball Field 5

Accommodates 25 people. It has one barbecue and no access to electricity or water. It is next to Baseball backstop #5.

Full Day Rental: $100
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Shelter #5 – Near Waughop Lake

Accommodates 25 people. It has one barbecue and no access to electricity or water. It is next to Waughop Lake.

Full Day Rental: $100
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Sports Field Rentals

If you are planning to host an athletic tournament or sports practice, you must fill out an application. Please contact Nikki York at [email protected] or by calling (253) 983-7887 for more information.

Ball fields #1-4: Have base distances ranging from 60-90 feet. All offer pitching mounds. (Outfields may be used as soccer fields C, D and E.)

Ball field #5: Is small and used for T-ball or Coach Pitch programs.

Soccer fields A-F: Can accommodate regular size soccer fields. These fields are closed mid-December through February for maintenance.