What: The Mary E. Thelar Wetlands is the perfect place for a sea-level stroll in the winter. While hikers never get very far from downtown Belfair, they’ll feel like they are miles from the two highways bordering much of the wetland. A series of short nature walks with interpretive signs cut along the marshes where Hood Canal meets the Union River. This is an ideal place for bird watching.
When: Open daily during daylight hours.
Directions: Follow state Route 3 to Belfair and find the trailhead at the Theler Community Center.
Of note: If you are into flora and fauna this is the place to go. Not only are you sure to see various species of birds, but can see more than 800 species of plants. The longest of the four trails is the 11/2-mile (each way) Union River Estuary Trail. Pets are not permitted on the trails. Maps are available at the trailhead. The Wetlands Exhibit Center is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekends and holidays and is run by volunteers.
Information: thelercenter.orgCraig Hill, craig.hill@ thenewstribune.com