Located on the side of I-5 just outside of Olympia, the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually Wildlife Refuge is a side trip worth taking. It is family friendly, and is nearly flat. The America The Beautiful pass will cover the access fee.
The large parking lots near the visitor area is the start, and a boardwalk trail goes around the lake and marshes/wetlands. It is cool in the forest.
Native roses blooming in spring.
Looking back across at the visitor center.
The trail opens up and passes wetlands.
Wqalker getting a piggy back ride.
The old twin barns.
Kirk and Ford walking along the old farm.
Looking back at the twin barns. With the dike removed, the old farm land is returning to the tides.
The trail enters the boardwalk over the tide flats, and heads out towards the Puget Sound.
The tide was out when we were there, and we got to walk along the mud flats.
Areas where grass and such grows where the tides come in.
Previous to the dike being breached and removed this area didn’t get cleaned out by the salt water for many years.
We headed back and went down a side trail to the Nisqually River, near where it meets the Puget Sound, far from its start on the Nisqually Glacier, on Mount Rainier.