by Larry Goldstein
Watershed Park is a 117-acre refuge located close to the city center and the State Capital. The watershed has been an important part of Olympia's history, having served as the city's main source of fresh water from 1909 to 1947. In 1955 the city passed an ordinance to protect the area from further development. The 1.5 mile trail that winds through the park was officially built in 1977. The trail has recently been upgraded with improved drainage, new bridges and benches. The area is maintained by the City of Olympia and the City of Olympia Stream Team.|
From south of Olympia take Interstate 5 to Exit 105 and bear left to a T-intersection at Henderson Boulevard. Go left 0.1 mile to the small parking lot clearly marked with a sign, "City of Olympia Watershed Park, G. Eldon Marshall Trail." From north of Olympia take Exit 105B and bear to the left to the first light. Go left 0.8 mile along Henderson Boulevard to the parking lot on the left.
Moxlie Creek, the main waterbody in the park, is maintained by ground water (springs) and surface water runoff. Chinook Salmon are found in the creek from May through September. Coho and Cutthroat trout also live in the creek. The habitat is characterized by big leaf maple, Douglas fir, red alder and incense cedar. The understory includes huckleberry, Oregon grape, licorice and sword ferns, salmon berry and devil's club.
Bird Watching Notes
Watershed Park provides a diverse habitat for many birds including Wood Duck, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Screech-Owl, and Western Wood-Pewee. Nesting highlights include Great Horned Owl and Pileated Woodpecker. Osprey and Bald Eagle may occasionally be seen in the trees. More common birds associated with the mixed coniferous and deciduous woodlands include: Band-tailed Pigeon, Rufous Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Steller's jay, Chestnut-backed and Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Winter and Bewick's Wren, Brown Creeper, Swainson's Thrush, Varied Thrush, Dark-eyed Junco, Spotted Towhee, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Pine Siskin, and sparrows. Birding is best in early spring through fall.
(notes and photo by Larry Goldstein)
Black Hills Audubon Society
Bird Watching in Washington
Tweeters Recent Bird Sightings
Send comments about our web site to Greg Pelletier:
Thanks to Bob Morse for getting this project started! Others who also contributed to this web site are:
Michael Clegg, Woody Franzen, Larry Goldstein, Jim Lynch, John Lynch, Sheila McCartan, Nikki McClure,
Tammy Pelletier, Brian Price, Scott Richardson, Bill Shelmerdine, Ruth Sullivan, Bill Ward, Cedar Wells,
and the City of Olympia Water Resources Program