Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge


Day Hike - Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Explore the wildlife and scenery in a natural river estuary by Puget Sound via a boardwalk providing elevated views, stopping for lunch at a forested picnic area with nearby portapotties, before returning to the cars on a looped trail.

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  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 4.4 mi

Meet at 10 AM at the Visitor Center of the Billy Frank, Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, reached by taking Exit 114 from I-5 (which crosses over I-5) and turning right under I-5 and right again onto Brown Farm Road, which ends in a short distance at the Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.

This is an opportunity to have a close look at a rare undeveloped river estuary, close to home, that has been preserved as a wildlife refuge.  We will hike out and back on an elevated boardwalk that extends out to Puget Sound, providing views of a variety of wildlife, as well as Puget Sound itself.  We'll have our lunch at picnic tables by the Twin Barns, where trees provide some protection from the weather, and portapotties are nearby.  After lunch, we will return to the cars on a different trail than we hiked out on, to complete a loop.  There are also restrooms at the Visitor Center, where we meet and end the hike.  At the end of the hike there will be an opportunity to explore the exhibits in the Visitor Center.  Admission is free for any car having at least one National Park pass of some type.  Otherwise the admission charge is $4 per car.  Pay stubs and park passes are to be kept with the hiker, instead of being left at the car.


Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
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