On the shores Willapa Bay on the coast of Washington State, Willapa National Wildlife Refuge occupies 11,000 acres of land. With a diverse collection of landscapes and ecosystems, many species of plant and animal life can be found within the borders of the park. So, if you want to explore a part of Washington State that boasts beautiful and rugged scenery as well as a great environment for wildlife viewing, head to Willapa National Wildlife Refuge near the state’s coast.
About Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
Willapa National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 to aid in the preservation of flora and fauna native to the west coast of the state of Washington. It is especially known for being a haven for migrating and wintering populations of birds. Covering 11,000 acres of land, visitors can enjoy a multitude of ecosystems within the refuge including sand dunes, sand beaches, mud flats, grasslands, saltwater and freshwater marshes, and old growth and coniferous forests. The refuge also includes the uninhabited isle of Long Island, Washington which is home to Western red cedar and hemlock old growth forests.
Hiking and Boating at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
Hiking is an ideal way to enjoy Willapa National Wildlife Refuge as it allows you to explore and discover different parts of the land and its inhabitants as you go along. Several trails in the refuge offer visitors treks of varying lengths and difficulties that go through different sections of the park.
Kayakers and those with canoes will also find ample opportunity to take to the water and explore regions of the refuge that can only be accessed by boat. This includes the Long Island portion of the park. s There is a boat ramp located at the Refuge Headquarters.
Wildlife Viewing and Photography at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
A diverse array of mammals, birds, and aquatic life can be observed when visiting Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. Populations of Roosevelt Elk, black bear, coyotes, harbor seals, weasels, river otters, and snowshoe hare are among the furry creatures you may encounter. Birds such as endangered plovers, ducks, geese, loons, raptors, owls, shearwaters, herons, pelicans, and sandpipers are also prevalent throughout the refuge. If you explore the muddy tidal flats or the sand beaches, amphibians, reptiles, and fish populate the area. Due to this large variety of wildlife, photography is a popular pastime at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.
Staying Near Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
Just because you’re enjoying the rugged outdoors of Washington state doesn’t mean you have to rough it when it comes to your accommodations. Select Registry has a great member property in the area. Shelburne Country Inn Bed and Breakfast is located near Long Beach, Washington in the charming seaside town of Seaview. Relax in one of their 15 guest rooms or take a stroll through the gardens on the property. The beautifully kept Inn is on the National Historic Registry and is the longest continuously operating hotel in the state of Washington. And as a part of your Select Registry experience at Shelburne Country Inn, you’ll get a delicious complimentary breakfast each morning of your stay, so you’ll have the fuel to take on the adventures the day has in store for you. There truly is no better way to stay when visiting Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.
Photo credit: brigachtal