Saturday, September 25, 2010

Northwest Trek

Yesterday we went to Northwest Trek, a wildlife park near Eatonville, Washington, and had a really good time. I'm grateful to Dr. David and Connie Hellyer who donated their vacation property to Metro Parks Tacoma back in 1971 to be set aside as a wildlife preserve.  They especially wanted to provide a place where children could come and see wildlife in their native habitat, and their dream came true when the park opened in 1975.  (As a personal side note, one neat little bit of trivia is that Dr. Hellyer was my husband's pediatrician for awhile when he was a child!)

There are two main areas where you can see animals at Northwest Trek.  One is a walking tour area where you can walk around at your leisure and see animals which are in enclosed spaces, and another is the free-range area, a 435-acre area where (non-predator) animals roam free.  To access the free-range area you take a tram ride.  The tram-ride tour takes almost an hour.  The guides for the tram ride are knowledgeable, and we learned a lot about the animals (and trees) that we didn't know before.

We decided to go on two tram rides in the free-range area.  Apparently as long as there is enough room you can go on multiple tram rides at no extra cost (to do that just go up to the window where you first paid to get in, show them your receipt, let them know you'd like to ride the tram again, and they'll give you more tokens).  On the tram tours we saw black tail deer, bison (even a baby which we learned is unusual at this time of year!), mountain goats, moose, Roosevelt elk, a blue heron, and trumpeter swans.

We also walked around in the other area and visited the animals there who live in enclosed spaces--grizzly bears, gray wolves, coyotes, red foxes, lynx, bobcats, cougars, porcupines, skunks, beavers, fishers, owls, bald eagles, river otters, raccoons, an opossum, and more.

It was gray and cloudy when we got there, but after awhile the sun came out. We had such fun seeing all the animals, and we ended up staying there for almost 5 1/2 hours, and yes, I am tired.  But it was good!

I have a lot of pictures to go through, but here are a few to start with. . .

Baby Porcupine

River Otter (picture taken by my older son)
Bear (I think it's a grizzly bear, but I'll double-check)
Bald Eagle (picture taken by my older son)
Looking out the Tram window at a bison
A deer seen outside tram window
A bull elk seen on the tram tour

To see more blogs with critters, visit Camera Critters.

6 comments:

  1. Wow - what an amazing variety of animals! Great captures.

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  2. Wow, fantastic pictures! I'm sure your kids had enjoyed their educational tour in the habitat.

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  3. Wonderful captures. It sounds like a great trip :)

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