Blue herons and geese winter here; in the spring, hundreds of thousands of shorebirds migrate through with a great rushing of wings; and in the summer, endangered snowy plovers nest, protected, in the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. You can follow state park trails leading across Willapa Bay mud flats, pine forest, bogs, and sand dunes—all with their diverse plant and animal species.
Unlike Chesapeake Bay, Willapa Bay remains much as it was when first discovered. Because part of Leadbetter Point is a National Wildlife Refuge, children will find tracks of deer, elk, cottontail rabbits, raccoons, and birds in the wet sand. At low tide one can walk for miles on the sandy beach of Willapa Bay, exploring the vegetation-covered sand dunes. Salt-tolerant eelgrass, pickleweed, and glasswort on the bay side seem to attract deer and elk, judging from tracks and munched plants. Could these plants taste like pickles to them?
© Joan Burton/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.