1) Where is the picnic area?
The Refuge's primary function is to protect wildlife, so there is not an area explicitly created for picnicking, though there are some pullouts with benches along the boardwalk trail. There is no vehicle access near the trail, so it would be necessary for you to carry whatever amenities you might need.
2) Can I have my wedding at the Refuge?
Unfortunately, we do not have any areas that can be used for a wedding. Grays Harbor NWR is a national wildlife refuge, one of a special set of federal lands set aside for fish and wildlife first as a primary purpose. We do allow certain wildlife dependent recreation like wildlife observation, interpretation, and environmental education, but even those are limited in order to provide the needed protection and conservation of wildlife and habitats. We are not able to also support other kinds of uses and still meet our primary stewardship and conservation mission.
3) Can I use a audio-playback device to lure bids?
Human activities on a refuge must be compatible with the primary wildlife purposes of each Refuge. The use of playback tapes is an issue of growing concern as the use of technology for birding and wildlife photography continues to increase and evolve. Some birders will use bird calls in the field to verify a call they have heard. They may play the call quietly so only they are able to hear it or use headphones, which minimize any potential impact on birds in the wild. However, regarding the use of playback tapes to entice or elicit a response from birds in the wild, there are two Refuge regulations that apply here; 50 CFR 27.51 prohibits disturbing and attempting to disturb wildlife on any national wildlife refuge; in addition, 50 CFR 27.72 prohibits “the operation or use of audio devices including radios, recording and playback devices, loudspeakers....so as to cause unreasonable disturbance to others in the vicinity.” Use of audio devices to lure birds would violate at least one if not both of these regulations. We discourage the use of playback tapes on Nisqually NWR for the purpose of getting birds to respond since it can be disturbing to wildlife and other visitors and would be difficult if not impossible to avoid violating Refuge regulations in doing so.
4) Are dogs allowed on the Refuge?
We do not allow dogs anywhere on the Refuge. National wildlife refuges are the only set of federal lands set aside expressly for fish and wildlife above all other purposes. The prohibition of pets including dogs is to reduce disturbance to wildlife and habitat. There are studies that have been done that show that wildlife in the vicinity of trails, even where dogs are leashed, are negatively affected, causing lower wildlife abundance along the trail. It may be because wildlife instinctively look at dogs as predators, whether they are leashed or not.
5) Is the trail wheelchair accessible?
The trail is fully accessible.
6) Is there a good place to go fishing on the Refuge?
We do not allow any fishing at the Refuge. No boats are allowed within the refuge boundary.
7) Can I bring my bike to the Refuge?
You may ride your bike to the Refuge and park it at the information kiosk where the road is blocked by a gate. There is no bike rack, so you would need to bring a long cable lock to secure your bike. Bikes are not allowed on the trail.
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Most of the world's population of Western Sandpipers move through Grays Harbor estuary, some spending two to five days.