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Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

Southwest Washington

Location

Southwest Washington -- Vancouver Area
View map below

Length

2.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 100 ft.
Highest Point: 100 ft.

Rating

3.80 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2020
 
 
 

More than 5000 acres of marshes, grasslands and wooded areas are home to more than one hundred species of birds, waterfowl and fish. Two trails and a loop road provide public access to this serene area just a few miles west of I-5. Spring and fall are the best seasons to see migrating songbirds and shorebirds, but summer offers the additional attraction of the barrier-free Kiwa Loop Trail. Even in winter, there are plenty of birds to view.

Before starting your hike, be sure to pay your $3 entrance fee or display your Interagency or Golden Age pass. Then grab a brochure from the visitors center, as well as a printed map of the area.

The Oaks to Wetlands Trail is open year-round and provides several options for loops of up to two miles.

A plankhouse sits at the beginning of this trail, and piques hikers interest with its design. From here, an ADA-accessible trail winds along the eastern edge of the estuary. Depending on the season, you can view sandhill cranes, songbirds, migrating Canadian geese, swans, hawks, and more at the Refuge. A viewpoint at the end of the ADA-accessible section of this trail offers a nice vista of the refuge, set under the shade of a giant old oak.

From here, the trail heads into old-growth, with a series of spur trails that loop back to the main trail, giving hikers plenty of opportunity to wander through lush greenery and birdsong.

One of the highlights of this trail is the towering old growth Oregon White oaks, but informational plaques set alongside the trail also point out viburnum, oregon grape, and a multitude of other native flora that flourish here.

The Kiwa Trail, open from May 1 - September 30, is a flat trail of crushed gravel or boardwalk, suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. It features Oregon ash, which are nesting homes to a number of birds. It is closed in winter to provide quiet for nesting winter waterfowl.

 

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 45.8310, -122.7466 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Southwest Washington -- Vancouver Area

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Winter Hikes of Western Washington Deck (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

http://www.fws.gov/ridgefieldrefuges/ridgefield/recreation/recreation%20trails.html

Getting There

From I-5, take Exit 14, on Pioneer Street go west into the town of Ridgefield until Pioneer Street comes to a 'T' with N Main Street. Take a right turn on N Main Street and proceed north for 1 mile. The refuge entrance road is located on the left side of the road. There is ample parking and a $3 entry fee, which can be waived by showing one of the many passes they accept.

 

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Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

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