Went out there to get off the pavement and get a trail run in. Sign right when I got out of the car read, "no running on trails." Bummer! Guess they don't want fast moving people to spook the wildlife. This is not a place for trail running!
Not bad trail. It's much more of a spectator's hike. I'm a hobby photographer so I enjoyed walking it slowly looking for some neat photo opportunities. There are a lot of birds including bald eagles, some nutria and other small animals like rabbits. It's enjoyable if you're not looking for any challenge at all.
Unless you're a bird watcher, this trail is kind of boring. It is flat and exposed, meandering through marshland. We went on a hot summer day, and I don't think that was the best time to go, as the water level was very low, the birds weren't very active, and it was quite hot with no shade. I did go one other time when the Canada Geese were landing one beautiful fall evening at sunset, but on that occasion I did not walk the trails, only observed the geese landing on the marsh water.
The 3 mile loop is closed from October 1 through April 30th to protect the wildlife that visit the refuge. A 1.8 mile, mostly flat, trail is open year round. Both trails will take you to multiple view points with benches. Much of the seasonal longer trail is in the open so bring plenty of sun block and water.
The eagles have returned to their nest so bring binoculars and your camera. They will also have a spotting scope on the nest in the visitors center. Primary a birdwatching area, but we've also spotted deer, frogs, and snakes along the trail.
You say that the primary use is walking. It is important for trail users to realize that running, jogging, biking, dog walking, etc. are not allowed on trails at the refuge. However, there is a .9 mile trail that is open year round and accessible not only for walkers but for most using mobility assistance devices and there are approximately 3 miles of dirt service roads that are open from the first of May until the first of October. The refuge is open from sunup to sundown every day of the year. It is convenient to get to on Pacific Hwy, just north of Sherwood, and there is a # 94 MAX bus stop at the entrance to the refuge.
Since this is a wildlife refuge, there is a variety of wildlife to be seen. Fall and winter are the best time for viewing waterfowl but each season offers new wonders to enjoy.