"A Wide Number of Coastal Ecosystems" Willapa National Wildlife Refuge by glabah
Willapa National Wildlife Refuge Travel Guide: 1 reviews and 23 photos
Most of the National Wildlife Refuges in the USA are broken up into several units. While in some places this doesn't make too much difference, in this particular refuge there is one part of the refuge that is quite a distance (over 1/2 of an hour driving time) from the rest of the refuge.
Most of the refuge, in terms of area and attractions, is located on along Willapa Bay.
One part of the refuge is located at the far northwest corner of Willapa Bay, just north of Leadbetter Point State Park. This part has a considerable length of true Pacific Ocean beach, and the ecosystems and environment are a bit different than what you would find in the rest of the refuge.
Therefore, I have put the Leadbetter Point unit of this refuge into the Leadbetter Point State Park section of my travel guides, and the main part of this refuge is discussed in this section.
The irony is that the best sign I could find showing the refuge was the one at Leadbetter Point. So, the spot shown in the map above marked "You Are Here" is the very one that isn't discussed in this section of my travel guides!
Around the refuge headquarters, there are sections of forest that were logged many years ago. As this spot was exposed to coastal rains and the soil is extremely firtile, the trees grew to be quite large in size.
The trees that remain are almost entirely second growth trees, but they do at least provide some remnant of the impressive forest that once lived here.
A short trail heads from the refuge headquarters through the forest in a loop. While short in distance, it is quite steep in places.
Much of this refuge is made up of coastal lands, including tide flats and beaches, and one fairly large island.
This photograph was taken from the refuge headquarters parking lot looking northwest into a small bay that is an offshoot of the much larger Willapa Bay, from which the refuge gets its name.
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