Lewis County is excited to host cyclists participating in the annual Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, as well as friends, family and supporters that will be joining them. STP brings more than 10,000 people through our county and its communities, and Centralia College is the official midpoint of the annual ride.
If you’re riding or just hanging with someone who is, we’d like to welcome you to Lewis County and give you a bit of information about our area. Here’s a quick primer!
Each one of these communities plays a huge part in the ride each year, from hosting riders to providing support.
The largest city in Lewis County is the first city you’ll pass through, and in the heart of the city is Centralia College, the midpoint of the ride that bustles with activity both Saturday and Sunday. Read more about Centralia here.
The county seat of Lewis County is also home to a ton of history. The STP takes you through some beautiful neighborhoods before crossing Interstate 5 to rural areas. Read more about Chehalis here.
Lewis County’s fastest-growing community is home to the Funtime Festival, which is their annual community celebration. This community supports STP in a big way as well. Read more about Napavine here.
Once a major production center of eggs, the World’s Largest Egg is a favorite photo point for cyclists. You’ll pass near this south Lewis County town from the STP route. Read more about Winlock here.
This community was once a main stop on the railroad line between Portland and Seattle, and today provides a vital mini-stop for riders in the STP. Learn more about Vader here.
These places stand out along the route, whether they are strategic to the ride itself, historical in nature, or just plain quirky.
The official midpoint of STP is a favorite camping spot for many for the evening. Throughout the day there will be vendors, a beer garden and live music. Check the College’s STP Midpoint page here.
Lewis County’s main airport sits in the northwest part of Chehalis, and you might see a few planes taking off and landing during your ride. This site was where Air Force test pilot Scott Crossfield, who lived in Boistfort in his youth, made some of his first flights. The airport is located on Airport Road, just east of Louisiana Avenue and just off I-5's Exit 79. Check out their website here.
Lewis County Historical Museum
The old Northern Pacific depot in Chehalis is home to the history repository for Lewis County, which also contains several displays and exhibits that rotate throughout the year. It's located at West Street just past the railroad crossing. Check out their website too!
Old Oregon Trail Marker
In front of Chehalis City Hall, a stone marker tells the story of the Old Oregon Trail’s northward route from Oregon to the Tumwater area. This extension of the trail brought many settlers through our communities, with many descendants still living here today. City Hall is located near the intersection of Market Boulevard and Cascade Avenue.
This tiny school along Highway 603 sits south of Napavine. Consisting of just a few rooms, it is still used to teach children in kindergarten through 6th grade and is one of Lewis County’s oldest school districts. It sits on the corner of Schoolhouse Road and Highway 603.
There’s so much beauty and scenery along the route too, so make sure you take at least a little bit of time during your ride to enjoy it!
Looking for somewhere to eat? Hit up our Eats page for a list of places to go wherever you're staying.
Most hotels, motels and more are booked in the immediate Centralia and Chehalis area are booked through the weekend, but there are a lot of other places to stay the night. Check our Lodging page and get in touch with local lodging establishments.
Also, hit up the Centralia College STP Midpoint website for need-to-know information specific to the area immediately around the college and the city of Centralia.
The Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce, who coordinate a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff including lodging for riders, has a yearly tradition of handing out popsicles to riders as they arrive in Centralia! Their staff and volunteers also help provide information there, and also help riders at Recreation Park in Chehalis. When you see them, show them your appreciation for what they do!
Lewis County's oldest organized ride, the Lewis County Historical Ride, offers routes of 20, 48, 68 and 100 miles — and goes through scenic rural landscapes with views of Cascade peaks and stops at historic locations throughout Lewis County. Find out more at the Chehalis-Centralia Optimist Club's website.
Ride the Willapa is a family-friendly scenic ramble down the Willapa Hills Trail from Chehalis on westward to Rainbow Falls State Park and the town of Pe Ell. This ride will celebrate its third year in 2018. Visit their website here.
And finally, Cascade Bicycle Club's very own High Pass Challenge brings cyclists up some serious elevation on its way from Packwood to Windy Ridge, looking straight at the looming volcano of Mount St. Helens. Visit Cascade's website for more info.
Images for this post used by permission from Centralia College's STP Gallery, available on their STP Midpoint website.