Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

November 20, 2015.

4.5 mi | no ele. gain | 1:30 hr.

On my way to an event outside of Seattle, I stopped at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge to stretch my legs and get some fresh air. I’d been here once before on a similar mission. Its location right by the highway makes it a perfect rest stop. Well, active rest stop I suppose.

I started out on the Twin Barns Loop behind the visitor center, walking at a brisk pace in the bitterly cold air. It sure felt like winter this afternoon. The birds didn’t seem to mind, though. I shared the trails with Canada geese, great blue heron and other waterfowl. The cool forest, creaky boardwalks and huge mudflats wouldn’t be complete without the array of bird life.

As the hiking loop emerged from the trees I walked straight ahead towards the Puget Sound Overlook. This stretch of boardwalk led far into the distance along an inlet. Today, however, the end portion of the boardwalk was closed, so I didn’t get that epic view at the terminus. But I was still able to see snowy Mt. Rainier poking up above the lowlands. I guessed that would do.

What a lovely way to spend an hour or so on a fall afternoon. I’ve only been here a couple of times, but I imagine that there’s lots of wildlife to see any time of year. Fall visitors get the added benefit of finding relative solitude here, too. Well, that is unless you count the birds.

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