A Special Location
The Discovery Trail is located just below the confluence of the Skookumchuck and Chehalis Rivers, and to the south of Fort Borst Park, and is a rural area subject to periodic floods. The river, riparian area, extensive hay meadows and scattered woodland provide an exceptionally diverse habitat for birds. Raptors hunt along the Chehalis River Bottom. Since 2000, much work by local students and the community has resulted in the restoration of a one-mile long riparian area adjacent to the Chehalis River. There is now a 1.5 mile interpretive trail through the restored area and existing riparian forest. To get involved with our restoration area see our volunteers page–we run work parties just about monthly.
Walk the Chehalis River Discovery Trail! Step it UP!
The Surgeon General’s Call to Action for Walking and Walkable Communities states than an average of 2 minutes of walking each day can help prevent or treat many chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer, stroke, heart disease and depression.
Wildlife Commonly Spotted
The Chehalis River Discovery Trail and its adjacent seasonal ponds have become a mecca for bird
s and bird watchers. This area is known as the Chehalis River Bottom. Local bird watcher, Dave Hayden recently provided a listing of more than 150 birds observed. Birds observed included: commonly seen Canada Goose, Common Merganser, to wood ducks and rare surf scoters and Red Phalaropes. Also seen have been a wide variety of gulls, sparrows, swallows and birds of prey including American Kestrel, Merlins, Peregrine and the rare Gyrfalcon.
Anytime is a great time to visit the Discovery Trail, but early morning is the best time to see wildlife and discover tracks of the nocturnal residents. A sighting of the Bald Eagle is always a possibility, too.
About the Restoration
The Chehalis River Basin Land Trust was instrumental in building this wonderful natural area along the river just north of Centralia. Notice how the restored riparian areas are growing — thanks to efforts of the City of Centralia, the Land Trust, local students, and community members. To enjoy your natural world, this is the place to go! For a quiet stroll along the river, to watch birds and mammals, fish and insects, this is the place.
The Discovery Trail is open to walkers and observers of this wonderful natural area. Thank you for your cooperation with the rules of use.
Please remember that the Trail is adjacent to a working farm. Stay on the trail and give farm equipment the right of way.
This area has been developed to enhance wildlife habitat and river health. Horseback riding, camping, fishing, motor vehicles, hunting, etc. are not allowed. Please keep your dog(s) on a leash and on the trail. A dog running free leaves a scent that will impact the wildlife for several days or longer.
Have you seen the dog waste stations provided by Centralia Utilities? We thank the City of Centralia for its support!
Get Involve with Projects Like This
The Chehalis River Basin Land Trust is involved in ongoing work to restore the riparian buffer along the Discovery Trail. We do nearly monthly work parties to help keep our plants along the Trail alive. Become a member or join us as a volunteer for starters!