Once a premier destination for wildlife viewing and enjoying nature's beauty in a relaxed setting, Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge now ranks as merely "average" for those activities. While still an OK place for occasional wildlife watching, changes to the refuge have greatly reduced habitat for many of the species once found there. With the loss of miles of hiking trails, people are now confined to a much smaller area which is grossly overcrowded on most days. As a result, it's become a lot noisier environment than it used to be, which makes it a lot less relaxing. If you're looking for a quality nature experience close to Olympia I'd recommend exploring some of the nearby city and county parks or one of the Natural Resource Conservation Areas managed by the Department of Natural Resources. Be advised that use of the latter requires a Washington Discover Pass.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.