Guided walks teach Nisqually visitors about wildlife, history

Visitors to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge can learn about its history, the plants and animals during a series of guided weekend walks.

The series, which will run through the end of June, uses experts who lead walks through the refuge to point out the bird life, the interaction of plants and key historical locations.

The walks are offered at various times Saturdays and Sundays. The programs are free, but there is a $3 fee per vehicle of four adults to enter the refuge. The refuge is located off Interstate 5 at Exit 114 between Olympia and Tacoma.

You can get the entire schedule at fws.gov/refuge/nisqually.

Here is a look at the coming weekend’s walks:


Birds of a Feather — Take Flight on a Bird Walk: 8:30-11 a.m. With spring migration in full swing, the refuge is filled with birds. Look for swallows (four different species) or listen for the “wichity wichity” of the common yellowthroat. Join experienced birder David Richardson for a guided walk full of the sights and sounds of one of the refuge’s largest treasures — the birds. Meet at the landing overlooking the pond at the visitor center.

The Fungus Among Us: 1-2 p.m. Without mushrooms, the forest of the Northwest would be entirely different. Learn about the complex ways mushrooms interact with the flora and fauna of the refuge. Mushroom enthusiast Sarah Simpson will show you how bees, birds and butterflies interact with mycelium to shape our world. Meet at the flagpole in front of the visitor center.

The Magical Forest: 1:30-3 p.m. The forest is teeming with life, and there is always something new to see and hear. This family-friendly walk explores the relationships that exist between plants, animals and other organisms, fostering a sense of value for nature and a desire to protect it. Meet at the visitor center.


The Nisqually and Medicine Creek — Where Nature, Culture and History Converge: 1-2:30 p.m. Learn about the events surrounding the signing of the Medicine Creek Treaty, and how the Nisqually people came to the Nisqually River delta and how their lives changed with the settlement of Europeans. Lynn Corliss leads this walk, where participants will discover important things about the people who enjoyed this land before you did. Meet at the flagpole in front of the visitor center.