Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Nisqually, Washington

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1 Review
4 out of 5
As one of western Washington’s most accessible wildlife refuges, the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is as close to a sure bet for good birding as you can get. The varied habitats along the Nisqually River and the tideflats host more than 200 bird species and, depending on the season, the refuge offers everything from waterfowl to glimpses of some of the west side’s hard-to-find shorebirds. Habitats: Mixed forest, riparian, mudflat, salt marsh, wetland. Specialty birds: Common Loon; Pelagic and Brandt’s Cormorants; Greater White-fronted Goose; Brant; Greater Scaup; Barrow’s Goldeneye; Bald Eagle; Peregrine Falcon; Sandhill Crane; Black-bellied Plover; Baird’s and Pectoral Sandpipers; Short-billed Dowitcher; Rednecked Phalarope; Bonaparte’s, Mew, Thayer’s, and Western Gulls; Common Murre; Pigeon Guillemot; Band-tailed Pigeon; Short-eared Owl; Vaux’s Swift; Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds; Pileated Woodpecker; Redbreasted Sapsucker; Pacific-slope Flycatcher; Hutton’s and Cassin’s Vireos; Purple Martin.

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Professional Review and Guide

"As one of western Washington’s most accessible wildlife refuges, the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is as close to a sure bet for good birding as you can get. The varied habitats along the Nisqually River and the tideflats host more than 200 bird species and, depending on the season, the refuge offers everything from waterfowl to glimpses of some of the west side’s hard-to-find shorebirds. Habitats: Mixed forest, riparian, mudflat, salt marsh, wetland.

Specialty birds: Common Loon; Pelagic and Brandt’s Cormorants; Greater White-fronted Goose; Brant; Greater Scaup; Barrow’s Goldeneye; Bald Eagle; Peregrine Falcon; Sandhill Crane; Black-bellied Plover; Baird’s and Pectoral Sandpipers; Short-billed Dowitcher; Rednecked Phalarope; Bonaparte’s, Mew, Thayer’s, and Western Gulls; Common Murre; Pigeon Guillemot; Band-tailed Pigeon; Short-eared Owl; Vaux’s Swift; Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds; Pileated Woodpecker; Redbreasted Sapsucker; Pacific-slope Flycatcher; Hutton’s and Cassin’s Vireos; Purple Martin."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Nisqually
Distance: 5.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Best Times: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 20 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Driving Directions: Directions to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Recent Trail Reviews

2/19/2011
0

The new Boardwalk is open! A loop walk from the parking lot to the end of the boardwalk and back is about 4 miles of nearly flat trail smooth enough for wheelchairs and strollers. Birdwatching is awesome at the Refuge. Blue Heron, Northern Shovelers & Pintails, all sorts of song birds and shore birds - all of these can be found here. The new boardwalk takes you out over the mudflats at low tide and into the bay when the tide is in offering gorgeous views of Mt Rainier along the way. The older boardwalk takes you through a riparian area boardering the Nisqually River and dotted with ponds where birds nest and Owls fledge. I've seen River Otter, Nutria, and Deer as well here. Nisqually is an easy and beautiful little hike that's great for birders, or just a family outing.



Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018