Waterfront Park is one of Leavenworth Washington’s best kept secrets.
The trails wind along the Icicle River and through quiet riverbank forests. There are benches for sitting and interpretive signs to explain the natural and cultural history of the area. Throughout the park there are small beach inlets that are perfect for swimming on hot summer days. This is also a great birding site in the Spring or a place to spot salmon making their upstream journey in the Fall. The trail is accessible a block behind the Icicle Village Resort and will take you along the river, over Blackbird Island, and out in downtown Leavenworth. The trail is flat so you can just relax and enjoy the views. Click on the map to download a larger color version.
Birding in Leavenworth
“The Four Seasons of Blackbird Island”
Just a few blocks from the hustle and bustle of downtown Leavenworth lays a birdwatcher’s haven. Nestled along the Wenatchee River, Blackbird Island is home and refuge to an assortment of wildlife. The diverse habitat hosts seasonal favorites from bald eagles and osprey fishing the rapids to a large variety of warblers and other spring migrants.
Flashes of color in the thickets could be a Western Tanager, Lazuli Bunting or American Goldfinches. Secretive tree nesters such as Wood Ducks are common, as are a variety of other waterfowl. Canada Geese follow the river as a flyway and can be heard in almost all seasons. Black-headed Grosbeaks make short work of wild berry crops, and their cousins, Evening Grosbeaks, flash black, white, and yellow as they move about from each food source. The soft tapping echoing through the snow-covered wood could possibly be a Northern Flicker, Downy, Hairy Woodpecker or an industrious Black-capped Chickadee! California Quail can be seen scurrying through the underbrush and in spring young ones follow their parents as if on a grand parade. Late summer skies can be laced with raptors as they prepare to fly south. Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed Hawks, Cooper’s Hawks, and an occasional falcon ride the morning thermals. By winter, the power lines are adorned with hunting American Kestrels and Sharp-shinned Hawks. Walk softly and you may be treated to a sight of a deer, an otter or even a bear. Just the gentle flowing of the water, the rustle of the trees and closeness of wild things is enough to send any curious nature lover to Blackbird Island.” – Diana Peffer, Leavenworth Chamber
For a list of area birds please see leavenworthspringbirdfest.com
The Great Washington State Birding Trail Map shows many of the species of birds found in Leavenworth WA
To get your copy of The Great Washington Birding Trail Cascade Loop brochure and map, go to the Audubon society website at http://wa.audubon.org/ or call 1-866-wa-birds.
Download a list of Leavenworth area featured birding locations from Audubon Society.
You’ll also find very useful information on the North Central Washington Audubon Society birding page at http://www.ncwaudubon.org/birding.htm
Spring Bird Festival - May
Experience a weekend celebrating birdsong and exploring the natural world through birding, geology, wildflowers and conservation. Art exhibits showcase local talents and a songbird concert at Canyon Wren Recital Hall caps off a weekend to delight the senses. The Leavenworth area features spectacular habitats, ranging from snow-capped mountains to sunny pine forests, attracting a wide variety of birds. Guided trips and activities range from leisurely strolls to active hikes and most events are free. Sponsored by North Central Washington Audubon, the US Forest Service, US Fish & Wildlife, Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce and the Icicle Arts, Barn Beach Reserve. See www.LeavenworthSpringBirdfest.com to learn more.