La Center Bottoms is a county-owned stewardship site and a stop along The Audubon Society’s The Great Washington State Birding Trail Southwest Loop.
It is a pleasant short stroll, perfect to stretch your legs or share nature observation tips with the family. While you won’t likely escape traffic noise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how remote the trail will feel once you're on the 0.66 mile, wheelchair-friendly path, especially with the wildlife viewing blinds available that offer camouflage to observe your favorite wetlands creatures.
From the parking area, head left and continue along passed the gazebo that marks access to the city of La Center’s Sternwheeler Park – worth a visit in its own right for the art and amphitheater. You’ll shortly arrive at a “T” intersection. Heading left will lead you uphill to the park boundary at a school. Head right for the longer walk.
As the trail heads south, wetlands and floodplains will open on the left while the East Fork Lewis River meanders on the right. The trail transitions from asphalt to gravel and then becomes a mowed, unimproved, grassy trail to the end of maintained access, marked by a large log across the trail.
Just after this log, the park boundary arrives at a fenced pasture. Turn around here to re-trace your steps, stopping at the interpretive signs along the way to learn more about the ecosystem.