Day Hike: Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge has undergone a transformation over the past couple of years. The old six mile loop is no more. It was closed just on two years ago as the refuge underwent some rehabilitation and restoration, funded by mainly federal grants. This saw some of the man-made dikes removed and much of the tidal wetlands returned to their natural state.

The refuge features 3,000 acres of salt and freshwater marshes, grasslands, riparian and mixed forest habitats that provide resting and nesting areas for migratory waterfowl, songbirds, raptors and wading birds. The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a truly beautiful place to go for either a short of longer hike. There is a boardwalk, the Twin barns, the old dikes, McAllister Creek and the Nisqually River just to name a few of the highlights.

New Boardwalk Opened!

Just past the old twin barns is the start of the newly opened boardwalk. A rambling and wide, raised walk that is a mile long. Benches are too be installed soon, according to the signage, which will be great for those who need to take a breather on the way out or back. This new trail was very popular on the weekend, so if you can you may want to try it during the week to avoid the crowds.

Make certain you bring your binoculars, as there is plenty of wildlife. Some of the bird life you will maybe see;

  • Sandhill crane
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Barrow’s Goldeneye
  • Bald eagle (sometimes in vast numbers when the Salmon are running)
  • Short Eared Owl
  • Great Horned Owl

Open daylight hours; $3 per family. 100 Brown Farm Road (Exit 114 off I-5).

For more information call 360-753-9467 or visit: Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

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