A Service employee leads a group on a hike; the attendees look through binoculars at wildlife

Guided Walks at Steigerwald Lake and Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuges

Volunteers make it possible to offer public naturalist-led walks about a variety of topics. The following opportunities are listed by walk leader and topic.

For questions and to sign up for the following opportunities send an email to email RidgefieldVolunteer@fws.gov with the following information: 

  1. Name, date, and site of the walk. 
  2. Names of all participants. 
  3. Phone number.

If a walk is listed as "FULL", you can still email to request to be put onto the waitlist for that walk.

Questions that are not answered here or just can't get something to work? Call our office at 360-887-4106. 

Birding with Ken Pitts at Steigerwald Lake NWR

Whether you are new to birding or have been watching them your whole life, Ken Pitts offers easy and interesting ways to learn about the amazing world of our feathered friends. Spending his career as a high school teacher and  climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

Learn more about climate change
 educator, Ken has a passion for making connections between people and the natural world. When he is not leading bird walks, he can be found out in nature doing wildlife photography from his backyard to all over southern WA and northern OR, supporting the Gorge Refuge Stewards Photography group and their Youth Photography contest. 

Upcoming walks start at 7 am at the Steigerwald Lake Refuge main parking lot off Highway 14 across from 45th Street. All walks are slow paced for about 1 mile down the new Mountain View Trail from the main parking lot and then back for a total of 2 miles.  Some walks may go further into the Refuge depending on what the group decides, though you may turn around at any point or continue further if you'd like. For most walks, spotting scopes and binoculars will be available to borrow to help you get even closer to the wildlife! For more information about trail accessibility, click here to see the Steigerwald Trails webpage

  • None scheduled now, check back for more soon!
Birding with Robert Vanderkamp

Before moving here from Michigan, Robert led bird walks as the President of his Audubon Chapter for 17 years.  He has been watching birds for most of his adult life and lives by the motto “care and share”. He loves talking to people about birds and is excited to host bird walks at the Carty Unit every second Saturday of the month. We will post these a few months at a time to accommodate any needed changes in the schedule. 

Upcoming walks start at 8 am at the Carty Unit of the Refuge and are limited to 10 people. These generally last two to three hours but you are welcome to stay as long or short as works for you. Walks are free but the $3 refuge daily fee does apply. For more information about the fee and rules of the refuge click here

  • Saturday, April 13th, 8 am (FULL)
  • Saturday, May 11th, 8 am (3 Spots Remaining)
Birding with Ron Escano 

Ron has years of experience guiding local birding groups. Whether you are new to birding, are looking to sharpen your skills, or just hope to find a group to bird with, Ron is a great person to spend a morning with. His pace is relaxed, but thorough, making sure everyone has seen or heard each species.  Ron will help new birders focus on key identification points to build their bird knowledge while sorting through the nuances of sparrow calls for more advanced birders.

  • Saturday, May 4th 8 am (WAITLIST FULL)