Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area, Olympia

4.8
#6 of 9 in Parks in Olympia
Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area is a natural reserve in Olympia, Washington protected under the Washington Natural Areas Program. Once an important processing facility for the logging industry, it has been designated as the Weyerhaeuser South Bay Log Dump Rural Historic Landscape. Today the area is a renowned sanctuary for a variety of birds, harbor seals, river otters, bald eagles, and a colony of bats, as well as serving as an important great blue heron rookery. A recent conservation program in the area between the State of Washington and the Nature Conservancy is the first of its kind in the country.HistoryAmerican Indians use of the area dates back over 5,000 years when the present coast line stabilised. Euroamerican settlement began in the 1850s with Puget Sound's logging era. Early in the history of the area, the Woodard family built the railway for hauling logs down to the waterfront. From there they would load it on ships at the end of the peninsula.In the 1920s the site was bought by the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company, which brought up to 1 million board feet of timber here annually by rail from all over Thurston and Lewis counties until it closed the site in 1984. A former logging railroad crosses Woodard Bay on a wooden trestle and a narrow peninsula. It runs out onto a pier in Henderson Inlet across the mouth of Chapman Bay. Here logs were dumped in the water, gathered into rafts and floated to mills in Everett, Washington.
Plan to visit Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Olympia attractions using our Olympia trip itinerary maker.
Source
map
Create an itinerary including Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
30 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • June 8, 2017
    We had a great time walking through this park. It was warm, but walking beneath the thick canopy made a huge difference in temperature. It has a well maintained path through the trees and wasn't diffi...  more »
  • May 30, 2017
    Very relaxing couple of mile forested loop out and back to the logging terminal that operated up until the 1980s. The railhead pier is still partially preserved, as are a number of the pilings where s...  more »
  • March 29, 2017
    It wasn't easy down and back Trail. You have the option of taking a dirt trail that is heavily wooded or you can walk the paved trail.  more »

Plan your trip to Olympia

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Olympia

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Olympia by other users

3 days in Olympia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, kids, popular PREFERENCES: November, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Olympia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Olympia & Oregon Coast BY A USER FROM CANADA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Olympia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Olympia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 59 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS November, romantic, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: November, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Olympia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Olympia & Snoqualmie BY A USER FROM CANADA October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in Washington State BY A USER FROM INDIA September, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Olympia & San Jose BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans