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.
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Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area Reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • Quiet, beautiful and diverse. Good forest as well as waterfront. Great historic elements along with great natural setting. Only issue for some is the fact dogs are not welcome.  more »
  • There is a bit of a walk from the parking area to the end of the road where you can walk out into the bay. Great place to see sea birds and other wildlife.. The walk is through a typical Washington fo...  more »
  • 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 »

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