The McLane Creek Nature Trail consists of an easy 1.4-mile loop trail winding through a variety of habitats. This is a perfect area for birders of all abilities to spot and hear large numbers of our local birds courting, nesting, feeding, and protecting territory. The heart of the area is a large beaver pond which is home to swallows, blackbirds, Song Sparrows, Common Yellowthroats, Belted Kingfisher, Pied-billed Grebe, and Wood Duck. The surrounding coniferous and deciduous woodlands provide habitat for both kinds of our native chickadees, White-crowned Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, Swainson’s Thrush, Black-headed Grosbeak, Pine Siskin, Warbling Vireo, wrens, hummingbirds, warblers, woodpeckers, and more. There may be beaver activity in the pond, and the Rough-Skinned Newts are always fun to spot. Mary Russell, Craig Merkel, Mary McCallum, and Regina Johnson will help you identify the birds, critters, and plants of this rich habitat.
To get to McLane from Olympia, head west on US 101 for 2 miles. Take the Black Lake Boulevard exit. Proceed south (left off the ramp) on Black Lake Boulevard. In 3.5 miles the road turns west and becomes 62nd Avenue. Continue 0.7 mile to a stop sign and turn right onto Delphi Road. In 0.5 mile turn left into the McLane Creek Demonstration Forest. Reach the trailhead in 0.4 mile. There are two parking lots, an upper and lower. A Discover Pass is needed. Meet at the covered picnic area by the lower parking lot. Restrooms are available. Please dress for the weather. Bring water and snacks if needed.