Experience a Relaxing "Nearcation" at American Lake at JBLM


Experience a Relaxing "Nearcation" at American Lake in JBLM/Lakewood.

In today's fast-paced world, finding time to unwind and rejuvenate has become more important than ever. While exotic vacations may seem enticing, sometimes the perfect getaway is closer than you think. If you're seeking a peaceful retreat without the hassle of traveling, look no further than American Lake in JBLM & Lakewood, Washington. Known as the largest natural lake in Pierce County, American Lake offers a serene and picturesque setting for a memorable staycation.

Shoreline Park

Scenic lakeside park with bath facilities, seasonal kayak & canoe rentals & a swimming beach.  A great place to take the kids swimming.  Unit functions may be held at the park on occasion. 


Summer's Cove

A small and mostly quiet area on the JBLM side where soldiers' families often swim on off duty days during the summer. It is located away from the fishing areas and near other areas of interest, including a nearby park and shore.

Russell Landing Marina and Launching Dock

A marina located near Summer's Cove that features a boat launch, a picnic area, and motor boat, kayak, and jet ski rentals. The marina is maintained by the United States Army's Family and MWR Programs. 


In Lakewood, American Lake boasts two public parks that are sure to cater to your every need. The first is American Lake North Park & Marina, where visitors can enjoy a wide range of recreational activities. The park features a newly renovated upper section with a delightful playground, perfect for families with children. The addition of a public restroom and a picnic shelter enhances the convenience and comfort of the park.

The lower section of American Lake North Park & Marina offers a swimming beach, a fishing pier, and boat docks, ensuring there's something for everyone. Whether you're seeking a refreshing swim in the lake, casting a line to catch your favorite game fish, or simply enjoying a leisurely picnic by the water, this park has it all. If you're interested in rowing, make sure to visit the park's rowing club, the Commencement Bay Rowing Club, and witness their impressive skills.

Another notable park on American Lake is Harry Todd Park, a true haven for nature enthusiasts. Families will be delighted to find a range of amenities that cater to all ages. The newly constructed playground is bound to captivate children's imaginations while providing a safe and fun environment. Moreover, the park features a swimming beach, fishing pier, and boat docks, allowing visitors to engage in their favorite water activities.

For those interested in fishing, American Lake is a prime destination. The lake offers a rich variety of game fish, including cutthroat trout, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, rock bass, smallmouth bass, Sockeye salmon (kokanee), and yellow perch. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife ensures the health and vitality of the fishery by regularly monitoring and stocking favored species. Fishing enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to indulge in their passion and make memorable catches.

To make the most of your nearcation at American Lake, it's essential to plan your visit in advance. If you're bringing a boat, be aware that a boat launch fee of $15 (credit/debit cards only) applies. Alternatively, visitors can purchase a seasonal pass at Lakewood City Hall, allowing for hassle-free access to the lake throughout the year. Additionally, Shelter 1, located adjacent to the restroom, provides a perfect spot for gatherings, accommodating up to 25 people.

For further information or any inquiries in Lakewood, Mary Dodsworth, the Parks, Recreation & Community Services Director, can be contacted at (253) 983-7887 or via email at [email protected]. Mary and her team will be more than happy to assist you in planning your staycation at American Lake, ensuring a truly enjoyable and memorable experience.

So, if you're longing for a relaxing and rejuvenating break from the daily grind, consider a staycation at American Lake in Lakewood, Washington. With its natural beauty, recreational activities, and ample amenities, this hidden gem is the perfect destination to unwind, reconnect with nature, and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

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