Nisqually Wildlife Refuge
I-5 Exit 114
8 Miles north of Olympia
Open Daily Sunrise to Sunset
$3 fee per group of 4 Adults
The Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife preserve operated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service on the Nisqually River Delta near Puget Sound in northeastern Thurston County, Washington and northwestern Pierce County, Washington. The refuge is located just off Interstate 5, between the cities of Tacoma and Olympia.
The 12.6 km2 refuge was created in 1974 to provide habitat and nesting areas for waterfowl and other migratory birds. It includes a protected estuary, salt marshes and open mudflats, freshwater marshes, open grassland, and riparian woodland and brush. An additional 3.2 square kilometres (1.2 sq mi) planned is protected by the disjoint Black River Unit on a tributary of the Chehalis River.
Over 20,000 birds, made up of 275 different migrating species, use the freshwater marshes and grasslands for breeding, resting or wintering. The most abundant bird types include raptors, shorebirds and songbirds. Larger animals such as hawks and coyotes feast in the grassland due to the presence of mice and voles.
The riparian woodland and brush habitats contain many amphibians, mammals and reptiles. The Refuge has around 5 miles of walking trails. The one-mile long raised boardwalk Twin Barns Loop Trail takes you past various marshes and small ponds, past the Twin Barns and then to open estuary.
|Entrance to Nisqually Refuge|
|Portion of Twin Barns Loop Trail|
|The Eastern Twin of the Twin Barns|
|Mallard Duck eating algae in a pond|
|Everyone is in on it|
|A Young Red Tailed Hawk keeps an eye on the walkers below|
|Be mindful of the squirrels|
|Spider Web covered in morning dew|