This is a pretty good leg stretcher. It has very nice trails for some of the way, and gravel roads for much of it. There is a lot of open space. It was a cool day in November on the day I hiked, so it was marvelous. I would guess this gets really dusty in the summer. This was a satisfactory day hike, well worth taking the time to drive a couple of hours to get to the trail head. This would be a great place to ride a bike.
Winslow Pool Trail shares the trail with Pine Lakes Loop Trail for about half of the distance. At the end of the lake, instead of taking the short loop around, you take a wider loop. The Pine Lakes Loop Trail is paved beautifully all around. The wider loop that Winslow Pool Trail takes is a finely graveled trail / road. It's a beautiful hike, with abundant birds and a few deer on the day I went. It is an easy hike, with no significant obstacles or inclines.
This is a park where you have to go multiple times to take the time to explore. My bestfriend and I have seen many beautiful things there, whether we were driving through or hiking one of the trails. We even made friends with one of the common chip munks that you'll see running across the trails.
This hike was beautiful and interesting the first few miles, but after that it was kind of miserable. Walking on a rocky roadbed took it's toll, for us and our german shepherd, plus it was just long straightaways. Maybe our unfamiliarity with the refuge played a role, but at this point, we wouldn't do this again.
Mikayla B. on Winslow Pool
The only place in WA that we have seen Moose. Lots of birds - lovely loop trail. Swans have been seen here nesting.
This is a neat wildlife refuge to visit for an afternoon. It's really designed to be a drive-through auto tour. There are many places to get out and walk down trails but they are usually short and just take you out to a viewing area near a small pond. It is an excellent place to explore nature with children. All trails are pretty flat, and some are paved so you could easily use with a stroller. Do not expect any sustained hiking for exercise, but by the end of the trip you could get in a few miles of walking total. Good for photographers and bird watchers. I'd recommend bringing a pair of binoculars. We saw many types of water fowl, two coyotes very close (they were clearly used to being around people), and a cow moose. For a bit more exercise, bring bikes and ride through the auto tour loop, it's one-way gravel with minimal slow moving traffic. We drove through the loop, stopping to explore half a dozen short trails in about 4 hours total.
* There are plenty of ticks, so you may want to wear some DEET bug spray and be sure you check yourself out for the creepy little bugs when you are done.
We actually ended up on this trail as we were completing the Stubblefield trail. Both of these are inside of Turnbull. The lake is small, but pretty. We spotted a porcupine while walking our dog which was pretty cool. Really flat/easy gravel trail. Not a ton of people. Well kept up & overall pleasant. Since this is so close to our house we'll probably go back.
Turnbull is a very good place for families. Well maintained trails that are easy for kids and dogs on leashes to negotiate. Located on the channeled scablands cut by the Lake Missoula floods, the Refuge is covered by Ponderosa pines, native grasses and several species of shrubs and wildflowers. Depending on the time of year, wildlife can include deer, elk, moose, coyotes and beaver. For first-timers, I would recommend driving the scenic road and finding the location of the many trails and lakes, then loop back to parking and enjoy your hiking experience.