What is a water trail?

The Nisqually River is the blood of the Nisqually Watershed, sustaining fish, wildlife and people. Because of the extensive amount of work completed to protect habitat in the watershed – often for the benefit of salmon – the river offers a unique chance to connect to nature that is not found in many other areas. At the same time, the close proximity of the watershed to the urban centers of Olympia and Tacoma make this river easily accessible for people interested in a day trip without the long drive.

The Nisqually River Water Trail was designed to help people access the Nisqually River more safely, while understanding the rich history of the area. From McKenna Park in Yelm to Luhr Beach on Puget Sound, the water trail journeys through forests, prairies and mudflats. Visitors often see bald eagles, deer or even the occasional sea lion!

But what is a water trail? And why is one proposed for the Nisqually River? Read our FAQs, glance through the draft concept plan, or view a storymap on the planning process to learn more. Visit the Nisqually River Council’s webpage to learn more about the organization that led the planning process.