Discovering Washington: The Wetlands at Theler Center

I grew up in a small town in Washington called Allyn. Its only claim to fame, that I know of, comes from the show ‘Dirty Jobs.’ In the episode where Mike Rowe (swoon!) is digging for geoducks. He was digging around waist deep in mud, in my town. (Sadly it was filmed years after I moved away.)

This town is not even big enough to justify a school system. I had to go to school in the nearby town of Belfair. It’s because of this, I consider both Allyn and Belfair my hometown.
The second I graduated from high school, my parents moved out of the house I grew up in, and I never looked back.
I was shocked to find out in college that people knew about Belfair because they grew up vacationing there! I couldn’t believe it. What is there to do in such a small, po-dunk town.
Now, as a mom, I get it. It’s a place people go to unplug, which I daresay, means a whole lot more now, than it did back then!

There are many parts of the town right on the water. Great opportunities for fishing, crabbing, and clam digging. And I hear the oysters and geoducks are delicious too! It is over-pouring with fun outdoor activities.

The other day, we got to take the kids on another adventure to a place I loved in high school. The Wetlands at Theler Center.
The Wetlands at Theler Center are a fantastic place to visit in Washington State. It's perfect for young kiddos with endless trails, sprawling fields and flatlands, and a ton of animal sightings!
A long time friend of mine invited us to go, and suddenly I couldn’t wait to introduce this gem from my childhood to my family.
Of course, many things have changed since I was there 15 years ago. The biggest change I noticed, was the awesome new playground.
Discovering Washington Theler Center Wetlands R at the park
(He really was having fun, he just stopped for a moment to watch some other kids.)
After the kids were done with the slides (or when the parents were ready to move on to the trail), we headed out for our adventure.
I would suggest taking a stroller for the younger ones. It’s flat the entire way, but there aren’t any fences to keep the kiddos from going into the grass, or worse, the mud!
There is a short trail at first that leads to a classroom/lab. I took a class there when I was in high school. I didn’t appreciate it back then nearly as much as I should have.
Right outside the lab, they have a grey whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling. The kids were in awe right from the start!
grey whale
Then nearby, before the real trails began, there was a cool piece of artwork depicting the famous (in Belfair) Blue Heron.
Discovering Washington Theler Center Wetlands Blue Heron sculpture
There were a few different trails to choose from. Since the wetlands are so expansive, the kids only made it to the end of one trail-it was 3 miles down and back. We passed a few joggers along the way. I am not a runner by any means, but I can certainly see the appeal of running at this place. It really was gorgeous!
Discovering Washington Theler Center Wetlands Trail and mud
Discovering Washington Theler Center Wetlands Shot of wetlands
The Little Miss walked pretty much the entire way, well, ran, more like (I have no idea how I convinced her to stop for a second for this picture.)
Discovering Washington Theler Center Wetlands Z by blue heron
We kept the boy in the stroller-most of the time. We let him run around a bit, but as I said earlier, there is nothing from keeping him out of the mud.
They had such a great time!!
Discovering Washington Theler Center Wetlands Z peeking around a tree
We happened to go on a beautiful day in the afternoon. At the end of the trail we chose, there was a farm with llamas and goats. What kid doesn’t love to see some barnyard animals?! 
Discovering Washington Theler Center Wetlands R with Llama
Once we finally headed back, the sun was starting to set.
Discovering Washington Theler Center Wetlands Sunset
If we were able to stay just a half-hour longer, it would have been incredible. But alas, we needed to get the kids home.
This trip was fantastic! We had a great time with friends, saw some cool things, AND we got some exercise!
Total cost for this adventure:
Gas: $10
That’s it. My friend and I brought food. There is no admission to the trails. I’m probably even exaggerating the cost of gas a little bit.
We’re looking forward to going back so we can explore the other trails!
What about you? Are there any fun places in your hometown that you would love to show your family?
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12 Comments

  • Reply Melissa (Wading Through Motherhood)

    What a beautiful place! I love going to places that have animals and nature, it’s even better when it’s free. Love your new design!

    March 9, 2015 at 10:44 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Me too! I have been having so much fun taking the kids outside-they love it! Thank you-I’m excited about it, it’s a lot more “me”.

      March 9, 2015 at 11:15 am
  • Reply Terri's Thoughts

    What a beautiful spot!! I want to visit there

    March 10, 2015 at 2:51 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      It was-and lucky us, it was such a gorgeous day!

      March 10, 2015 at 2:54 pm
  • Reply Jess

    I know I mentioned it before, but I love that you’re doing these Discover Washington posts. We forget that there are so many cool things to see right near our own homes. This place looks gorgeous. You guys look like you had a blast!

    March 10, 2015 at 3:39 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you! It’s been really fun! I love this place, and had no idea I missed it! The kids had a really great time (so did the parents!)

      March 10, 2015 at 3:42 pm
  • Reply maggiemaysgifts

    That is so great! Looks like a perfect place to unplug. The pictures are great! I love the one where your daughter is peeking around the tree 🙂

    March 10, 2015 at 3:52 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Thank you! I was a great afternoon getaway.

      March 10, 2015 at 4:03 pm
  • Reply MrsMuffinTop ™ (@TheMrsMuffinTop)

    Gorgeous! Washington is one of my favorite states, this confirms it!

    March 10, 2015 at 5:14 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      It was! Mine too! I love living here-especially this year because we’ve had more sun than rain…

      March 10, 2015 at 5:19 pm
  • Reply Natasha

    Beautiful and looks like a lot of fun. My boys would absolutely love it!

    March 10, 2015 at 7:34 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      It was! They probably would-it was a great time!

      March 10, 2015 at 7:37 pm

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