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.
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.
This is an enjoyable area to stroll around in nature. Paths are very well maintained as it is a refuge area with onsite parks & management. Many birds and wildlife were witnessed. from ducks, swans, hawks and deer. This is an excellent place for children as paths are easy to access and use. even strollers can be used on many of the paved paths. non paved paths are also available for the more adventourous types so dont worry. Educational opportunities are available as well.
We walked around each area and drove the car around the 5 mile auto loop. stopping at each area to hike around. a wonderful day at a refuge park for anyone and all.
Adelheid K. on Winslow Pool
Really a beautiful area. So easy to hike around in. Lots of beautiful marshes, a bird watchers bonanza. There are even some "duck blind" observation areas that you can sit in to watch the water fowl. There's a nice little 5 mile loop drive if you have some older people in your group that can't do a lot of walking. Have been there in all seasons. Beautiful in the winter to snowshoe through. BEWARE in the Spring! We went one Spring and were literally covered in ticks!! Even stopped at the Ranger Station and they said, "oh yeah, it's a BIG problem out here." You have been warned:) There is a $3.00 day pass fee for parking unless you already have a season pass. So much space to hike we've never seen more then 2 people at any place out there.
Very nice park setting. Trails well maintained. Most of the trails we hiked are very short but there are a couple that go a mile or two.. great place to go watch birds or just get outside with a loved one. Great place to take children. Costs 3 bucks for a carload of people.