Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge is located a little north east of the state capital Olympia, Wa. This was on my “must do” while in this area, and it did not disappoint. The cost to visit is $3 unless you have a annual national park pass(we do, thanks Kadri!) It’s a great place to take kids, they have a Junior Refuge Manager program which is free. Go to the Norm Dicks Visitor Center and let them know you are ready to be a junior refuge manager. They will help the kids fill out their names and show them what each age is required to do. Then you hit the trails to explore and complete your booklet.
We saw many different birds along the trail, there are interpretive signs along the path which helps you identify the different wildlife. We also saw a large turtle sunning itself, tiny frog, ducks, deer, and butterflies. There is plenty of shade under the big leaf maples and red alders.
We didn’t do the entire trail system, just the loop and the look out deck. We were able to easily finish our booklets, stop for a short snack picnic, and check out the different telescopes along the trails in about an hour.
When you are done this nice lady will have you recite the pledge and swear you into service.
The visitors center also has some short videos that held the kids short attention spans and beautiful displays of information along the walls. I really dig this model of the surrounding area
If you aren’t able to walk the trail system, there is plenty to see from the observation deck outside the visitors center.
I didn’t realize til we got home that they also have another children centered exhibit. It will be something to look forward to on our next visit.