Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge- Oaks to Wetlands Trail

Ridgefield, WA
Length: 2.00 mi.
Type: Loop

About This Trail

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This trail leads you through the northern Carty Unit of Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. It is a beautiful, shaded trail that is perfect for wildlife watching. There is a Chinookan style plankhouse that hosts scheduled talks, tours and kids activities.

Immediately after starting out on the trail, you will come to a bridge over the BNSF railroad.  Shortly after the bridge, you will come across the plankhouse. The plankhouse is open for educational talks on weekends in April-October.

Beyond the plankhouse, you’ll come to a junction. To your left you can access Duck Lake. However, to continue the trail, take a right and follow the trail through the forest.  When arrive at a small footbridge, take another right to stay on the trail until you arrive at Boot Lake. This is a perfect spot to bird watch.

When you’re ready to get back on the trail, follow the side path around the east side of the lake.  The trail will lead you back through wetland grasses to another view of Duck Lake. After the trail junction, you’ll cross a small bridge and continue right at the fork to return to the parking lot.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter
Surface type Dirt
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Excellent
Pet friendly No
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Creek / River, Lake, Mud Puddles, Natural Play Area, Ranger Led Hikes, Shaded Hike, and Wildlife Viewing

A Chinookan style plank house, wildlife viewing and audio tours

No dogs allowed

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $3.00

$3 day pass or $15 annual membership required

Trail Contributor

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Being outside is how I re-charge. It gives me perspective, fills me with gratitude and provides an opportunity to disconnect from the chaos of everyday life. I am fortunate to share this passion with my amazing husband and our son.  I was born and raised in the PNW but I love exploring any area I can get to. One of my favorite things about Hike it Baby is that I have a built in community of friends to provide trail suggestions anywhere we go.


Trail Map

Getting There

From I-5 north, take Exit 14 for Highway 501W, Ridgefield, and Pioneer Street.

Turn left at the intersection and drive 0.2 miles to a Stop sign.

Go straight for 2.9 miles on Pioneer Street.

At the intersection with S. Main Street, turn right and drive 1.0 miles to make a left turn into the large gravel parking area for the Carty Unit