Standing on the Backs of Salmon
Years ago, both the rivers and the salmon of Cascadia flowed freely. This was before Washington State nominated “Roll on Columbia, Roll On“ as the official state folk song. The rivers were free before we put up dams, over-fished the salmon to the ocean and polluted the Columbia with nuclear waste. Years ago, the rivers of the Pacific Northwest were magnificent and beautiful. Iconic images were born here. Legends came out of this area, telling tales of rivers so full of salmon that you could walk across them. A river of fish used to be in our backyard.
Imagine standing on the banks of a river in an ancient rain-forest, being able to see millions of salmon thrashing in the current. I imagine that it would appear as if the river is more salmon than water. This is the history of our rivers. In my life, I will probably never see a river like this. However…
We can come close to seeing a river more fish than water. Northwest of the capitol city of Washington State, a small creek flows through an unassuming forest. Eleven months a year, this river is basically ignored, but come the month of November, 80,000 salmon, splash and work their way upstream to their spawning grounds. Kennedy Creek, located in Mason County, Washington is this small creek and, complete with benches, overlooks and bridges, has been created to offer you a truly unique salmon experience.
During the month of November, the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail, which is less than a mile long in length, allows visitors the opportunity to see tens of thousands of salmon return to their spawning ground. The sheer sight of seeing a small creek, becoming clogged with salmon, more than makes up for the fact that you won’t see any jump. With 11 viewing stations made just for salmon watching, interpretive signs and volunteer Docents (trail guides); Kennedy Creek is a salmon watcher’s dream location.
Built on land, graciously donated by the good people at Taylor Shellfish, Kennedy Creek is awesome.
Since it is only open for one month a year, the salmon at Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail need to be seen!
If you want to visit, please know that during the weekdays only groups are allowed to enter. This is because time needs to be made for the over 2,000 school children who will visit the trail. Weekends are open to everyone, so unless you want to put a group together (which you can do!) this is when you should go. That gives you 11 days (including the day after Thanksgiving and Veterans Day) to see it. Check out the quick facts below and plan your trip!
What: Kennedy Creek
Why: 80,000 Salmon
Distance: Less than a mile, round trip.
Parking: Great with numerous spots
Open: Month of November
Key Event: Open house on the trail. Taylor Shellfish will be providing shellfish and will be making geoduck chowder from 11-1pm!!! Date TBA
Amenities: Port-a-potty, benches along trail. Most of the trail is ADA accessible.
More Info and video: