Part of the Palmer Hay Flats State Game Refuge, this trail meanders through tidal flats and wetlands. Highlights are great views of the mountains surrounding Palmer (Pioneer Peak, the Chugach and Talkeetna ranges) and excellent bird watching. But be alert to tidal swings; Cottonwood Creek fills with water during high tide (up to 6 feet deep) and can be impassible—so don’t get caught out here during high tide! Look for salmon running up the murky creek in mid-to-late summer; earlier (in June) there’s great wildflower viewing and bird watching (grouse, sandhill cranes, snow geese, and raptors).
Distance: 1 miles