The Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve (NAP), located outside of the Olympia area, near Littlerock, Washington, was established in 1976 to protect rare examples of mima mound landforms and Puget prairie grasslands. The area includes a Garry oak woodland and savannah (widely spaced oak trees with grass understory) and also supports a variety of prairie dependent butterflies and birds, and Douglas-fir forest. Mima Mounds is not open to dogs (unless service animals) and requires a Discovery Pass to park.
It isn’t a large site, but it is unique to walk, with plenty of educational stuff to file away. It isn’t a large area, and you may well hike it in 30 minutes or less. It is an excellent leg stretcher on long drives on I-5. What are the mounds? Will science ever decide? What is though is one of the last sections of it that were not bulldozed for homes or tilled under into farmland. It is though surrounded by homes, so is not a wilderness. The trails wind through the front area are paved, the back loop is natural surface.
Visitor area, off a paved trail.
Kirk ahead of me, walking through the trees and mounds.
The low understory of moss and lichens is pretty intense here.
The interpretive trail signs has seen a lot of abuse.
The forested section of the mounds I found interesting, as the trees are growing up and covering the mounds.
Ford talking with Kirk about the mounds.
Lichens, moss and so much more.
Part of the beauty of Mima Mounds is getting down low.