Nisqually River Water Trail

The Nisqually River Water Trail (NRWT) is a floatable section of the scenic Nisqually River. Stretching from the Nisqually State Park to Luhr Beach on Puget Sound, the NRWT offers people the chance to take non-motorized water craft along nearly half of the river’s length while learning more about the unique and rich history of the Nisqually Basin.

Although the Nisqually River is close to the urban centers of Olympia and Tacoma, the watershed is relatively undeveloped–largely thanks conservation efforts of the Nisqually Indian Tribe, Nisqually Land Trust and many other organizations. Large amounts of protected lands along the river banks makes this trip a beautiful and hard-to-find gem. Boaters have the chance to float through dense forests, with the occasional glimpse of Mount Rainier on a clear day.

The Nisqually River Council (NRC) is a coalition of community and government stakeholders that promotes social, environmental, and economic sustainability within the Nisqually Watershed. In 2015-2016, the NRC, with technical assistance by the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, led a planning effort to examine river recreation opportunities along the lower Nisqually River. The process ultimately led to the development of the Nisqually River Water Trail Concept Plan.


The Nisqually River is largely undeveloped, despite its close proximity to Tacoma and Olympia, WA. Photo by Morgan Greene