Just a 10 minute drive from downtown Olympia, Woodard Bay is an amazing getaway if you want to enjoy nature's wonders in a quiet setting. This Natural Resource Conservation Area, managed by the WA Dept. of Natural Resources, is essentially the state equivalent of a wildlife refuge and is intended for very low impact human use such as wildlife viewing, walking, photography and picnicking. Not only are the views beautiful, but the bays and woodlands of this area host an impressive array of wildlife, with eagles, herons, waterfowl, seals, river otters and other species varying with the season. The fact that neither dogs nor bicycles are allowed here increases the opportunities to see wildlife and enhances the visiting experience for those seeking solitude. Folks looking for more active recreation can access the Chehalis Western Trail from a separate parking lot about 0.1 miles east of the Woodard Bay bridge. Both bikes and leashed dogs are welcomed on the Chehalis Western Trail. If you visit Woodard Bay, remember that you'll need to display a Washington Discover Pass on your vehicle to avoid getting ticketed and fined.
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