Our annual joint field trip with Capitol Land Trust will return this year to 133-acre Twin Rivers Ranch, located at the northern terminus of Oakland Bay, five miles north of Shelton in Mason County. Twin Rivers Ranch is unlike any other place in the southern Puget Sound ecosystem. Salmon-bearing Deer and Cranberry Creeks flow through the property and into Oakland Bay, twin estuaries that provide critical wildlife habitat. This Preserve is a complex union of estuary, salt marsh, forested and non-forested freshwater and palustrine wetland, working hay field, creek riparian corridor and grassland. The diverse ecosystems on the Preserve provide habitat for a multitude of bird, mammal, and aquatic species, including Pacific oysters, Manila clams, osprey, hummingbird, common mergansers, Caspian terns, raven, Pacific-slope flycatcher, marsh wren, band-tailed pigeon, beaver, Pacific harbor seals, black-tailed deer, raccoon, and coyote.
Dress for the weather and wear sturdy footwear, even waterproof boots, to navigate uneven and possibly wet ground and grass tussocks.
Expect to be at Twin Rivers Ranch for the morning. Expect the drive to Twin Rivers Ranch to take a good 45 minutes from Olympia. To reach Twin Rivers Ranch, take US 101 towards Shelton and then the exit for Highway 3 (S.E. Olympic Highway South) toward Shelton/Bremerton. Continue on Highway 3 through downtown Shelton and along Oakland Bay for about six miles. Twin Rivers ranch will be on your right just after Ecler Road. Look for a white CLT EVENT sign on the road. (Google map directions are at http://goo.gl/maps/DWZUO.)
Follow the driveway over the bridge, past the house, and park by the barn.