This information is designed to provide basic information to help you in choosing appropriate paddle trips for your level of experience. The information may be old and outdated and I would encourage you to use several resources when a trip in unfamiliar areas. As always you are responsible for the safe operation and navigation of your own vessel. Happy Paddling!

  • This is a great paddle taking you into a quiet secluded inlet. The Woodard Bay Conservation Area, a wildlife sanctuary that is just minutes from downtown Olympia, this 870-acre site protects habitat ranging from marine shoreline and wetlands to mature second growth forest. The site has a rich and varied human history that includes Native Americans, early settlers to southern Puget Sound and the logging and shellfish industries.

    Woodard Bay provides habitat for shorebirds and songbirds, harbor seals, river otters, bald eagles, a large maternity colony of bats, and one of the most significant heron rookeries in the state. Three hiking trails are within the natural area: a paved road used as trail, a forested loop-trail, and another that is barrier-free, overlooking Woodard Bay. Trails may be closed seasonally to protect nesting herons and eagles. - See more at: Woodard Bay NRCA

    This is a great paddle for newcomers that want to explore the shorelines of Henderson Bay. Check the tides and launch from Woodard Bay Conservation Area Launch about an hour and a half before high tide. This will give you plenty of time to explore the shoreline as the tide fills in the bay. Just remember to get back to your launch site before the tide goes out too far otherwise you may not make it back to your car. Don't panic if this happens, just follow the inlet back out about a half a mile and there is a place you can pull up to on your left at the point and get out to walk back to the cars.


    SK Rating:

    Henderson Inlet is a shallow muddy bay. Paddle into the inlet on mid to rising tide and paddle out before you lose all your water and get stuck in the mud.

  • Distance:
    • 4-11 NM
    Radio Channels:
    • VHF 16
    • Henderson Inlet (Tides)


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