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Originally published February 20, 2014 at 3:34 PM | Page modified February 20, 2014 at 3:39 PM

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A Walk in the Park: Centralia’s Fort Borst popular for picnics and play

Walk among woods, gardens, shoreline and a sprawling athletic complex.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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A Walk in the Park

Where: Fort Borst Park

Location: 500 Pioneer Way, Centralia

Park size: 101 acres

L evel of difficulty: Easy, flat 2.1-mile trail, part of which is paved and wheelchair accessible, offers mix of woods, gardens, shoreline and playfields.

Facilities: A major sports complex in Lewis County, Borst features six full-size baseball fields, including two lighted and one in a stadium with 570-seating capacity. The turf football/soccer/track stadium has a 3,500-seating capacity.

There are also two Little League fields, eight softball fields, a dozen other playing fields and tennis courts. Also designated areas for volleyball and horseshoe pits. There’s a batting cage and indoor facilities with pool and racquetball courts.

The park also includes a picnic area beneath tall trees. Ample parking and restroom facilities.

Setting: Centralia’s flagship park is located at the confluence of the Chehalis and the Skookumchuck rivers. A few historical structures remain including the Borst homestead, schoolhouse, and Fort Borst Blockhouse.

On a busy summer day, the park draws 3,000 to 5,000 visitors, with folks scattered around the big picnic area and under the three shelters or renting the two indoor kitchens to cook for family reunions.

Highlights: Sporting events draw the big crowds, but Borst also features water recreation. Locals fish the rivers and Borst Lake, which is stocked with rainbow trout every spring. A boat launch is located along the Chehalis River.

On nongame nights, you can enjoy some quiet and solitude in this large park, which includes an arboretum and rhododendron gardens. Walk along the trails around the rivers or let your pets loose in the dog park, with designated play areas for large and small dogs.

Restrictions: Leash/scoop law in effect except for dog park area.

Directions: From the north, take Interstate 5 South to Exit 82 for Harrison Avenue, keep right at the fork and follow signs for Harrison Avenue. Turn left onto Belmont Avenue and continue onto Fort Borst Park Road. Follow signs to park.

More info: 360-330-7688 or see (including park map and aerial photos).

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or On Twitter @tanvinhseattle

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