A favorite spot of bird-watchers on the Olympic Peninsula.
Location: On Hood Canal, off U.S. Highway 101 at Brinnon, Jefferson County
Habitat: State’s 431 acres of conifers, deciduous riparian trees, river, salt marsh
Best seasons for birding: Spring, fall and winter.
Birds commonly seen: Fall bird-salmon migrations coincide in viewing bonanza: surf and white-winged scoters, greater and lesser scaups; horned and red-necked grebes, American wigeons, northern pintails. Singers come in spring: yellow and orange-crowned warblers, Hutton’s vireos, golden-crowned kinglets, plus rufous hummingbirds. Fall-spring, find forest dwellers: black-capped and chestnut-backed chickadees, downy and hairy woodpeckers.
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Viewing: Watch for bald eagles by 0.2-mile alder-lined North Tidal Trail to observation deck. From campground, take 3.5-mile Steam Donkey Trail, or 1.5-mile Maple Valley Trail from group campsite. From picnic area, walk by river and salt marsh sloughs. Bonus: Roosevelt elk, harbor seals.
Getting there: North Tidal Trail: From Highway 101 at Milepost 306.5, immediately north of Dosewallips River bridge, turn east onto unnamed road that goes 0.1 mile through field with interpretive signs, kiosk, trailhead parking. Campground and picnic area: From Highway 101 at Milepost 307, turn west into park campground or east into picnic area.
Source: Audubon Washington, Great Washington State Birding Trail maps. To order maps (Cascade Loop, Coulee Corridor, Olympic Loop or Southwest Loop), go online to www.wa.audubon.org. Call toll-free, 866-922-4737, for more information.