In 1904 a dike was built at the refuge site to stop tides from flooding the land so that it could be farmed. Restoration in 2009 included removing the dike and returning the land to it’s natural state of a tidal estuary where fresh water from the Nisqually River mixes with saltwater from the Puget Sound. The refuge protects the habitat of over 300 species of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians.
We visited at low tide and out of season for migratory birds so we missed seeing large groups of shorebirds or migrating flocks but the refuge is always a beautiful and peaceful place.
An accessible 1 mile boardwalk trail loops through a wooded section of the refuge. It intersects midway with a 1/2 mile gravel path which connects to 1 mile of boardwalk that goes out into the estuary. Although the gravel path and estuary boardwalk are not listed as accessible most wheelchair users will find them very doable. The visitor center is accessible.
For RV parking, drive past the visitor center and park along the edge of the parking lot. Refuge