Mill Creek Marsh is our favorite lazy day escape. We reserve it for days when I’m too tired to drive very far, but still want to get outside and run/walk. There are two short and flat 3/4 mile trails (North Tidal Pool Trail and South Tidal Pool Trail) with educational signage posted throughout describing the wildlife that call Mill Creek Marsh home. We love it because there’s no poison ivy, no cliffs to worry about falling off of, and no tree roots to trip over. It’s perfect for inquisitive toddlers and mamas that want to tote the stroller along.
My 2 year old and 4 year old love finding little sticks or twigs to fashion as walking sticks and then often take breaks to create art or practice their letters with them in the dirt. We write our ABCs, names, and draw pictures, and then rake it all back the way we found it using our favorite tools – sticks.
Wildlife sightings are a part of each visit and we enjoy the thrill of discovering and observing animals in nature. Last weekend, we found a mallard duck family happily swimming and quacking much to my 2 year old’s delight. “Mama, quack quack. Hiiiii, quack quack!” They even showed off and flew for us, a sight new to me. On a mid-October day, my animal loving 4 year old even spotted a beaver hiding out in the bushes! While we were debating whether he was a groundhog or a beaver, he emerged from his hiding place to display his unmistakable wide, flat tail and the debate was solved then and there.
That beaver sighting was so memorable and sparked so many questions that we checked out “Getting to Know Nature’s Children: Chipmunks / Beavers” by Merebeth Switzer from our local library to learn more about their habitat, favorite foods, and behavioral patterns. Who knew they live in lodges under the water stocked with enough food to last the winter? Now, whenever there are sticks, mud, and dirt, my boys pretend they are beavers and build elaborate dams and lodges. So much fun!
Take a stroll around Mill Creek Marsh – you never know what you might find!
The Park Mama Tips:
- The entrance is beside Bob’s Furniture, and there’s plenty of easy parking on the side.
- No picnicking allowed here, so plan your visit around a non-meal time.
- At times, there is a somewhat pungent odor near the water. Avoid this trail if you’re super sensitive to smells.
For more info:
Cedar stumps are visible at low tide and carry an interesting history. Read more here.