Mid-February and a beautiful spring-like day – – – it had all the makings of a fun trip to the Carty Unit in the northern portion of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
After parking at the trailhead, we hiked over an arched foot bridge above a set of railroad tracks. A cedar plankhouse, built in 2005 as a representative of the 14 plankhouses observed by Lewis & Clark in a nearby Indian village, was soon passed.
This was the beginning of the Oaks to Wetlands Trail, a well-marked path passing several lakes. Eventually the Trail emerged on a butte overlooking much of the area.
As special treats, we saw tundra swans, an egret and many Indian Plum trees in blossom.