Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region



Sign for boardwalk trail to Pintain and Egret Marsh observation blindAnkeny National Wildlife Refuge provides a wide array of recreational opportunities. With several miles of hiking trails, observation blinds and platforms Ankeny is a great place for wildlife observation. Hike through an Oregon ash wetland along Rail Trail to view waterfowl through an observation blind. Or visit the Eagle Marsh kiosk to view numerous migratory waterfowl in the winter. Click here for Trail Descriptions and Map.


Wildlife Viewing and Photography

The wildlife that use Ankeny NWR as a home or just pass through are diverse and wonderful to see. Large flocks of geese can be seen browsing on refuge fields throughout the winter. Eagle Marsh is a great place to see numerous birds of prey such as peregrine  falcons and bald eagles. Here are a few tips for viewing wildlife.

  • Dawn and dusk are the best times to see wildlife. In warmer climates, little is moving on hot summer afternoons or windy days.
  • Observe from the sidelines. Leave "abandoned" young animals alone. A parent is probably close by waiting for you to leave.
  • Don’t offer snacks; your lunch could disrupt wild digestive systems.
  • Cars make good observation blinds. Drive slowly, stopping to scan places wildlife might hide. Use binoculars or a long lens for a closer look.
  • Try sitting quietly in one good location. Let wildlife get used to your presence. Many animals that have hidden will reappear once they think you are gone. Often you will hear more than you will see.
  • Teach children quiet observation. Other wildlife watchers will appreciate your consideration.
  • Look for animal signs. Tracks, scat, feathers, and nests left behind often tell interesting stories.


"Nature Photography Blinds Now Available"

Visitors come to the Willamette Valley NWR Complex for many reasons, but most center on the abundance of wildlife that can be seen during the different seasons. The vision of geese, ducks, and water birds by the thousands dotting the open fields and marshes are enough to entice even the most seasoned of naturalists. Hawks soar overhead, scanning the landscape for a quick meal. Elk and bobcat roam the woodland edge. Iridescent butterfly wings glimmer like jewels in the sun. But most wildlife are naturally apprehensive around people and disappear quickly if approached. Photography blinds can provide visitors with an opportunity to view wildlife up close without disturbing the animal's natural behavior. Two photography blinds are now available to photographers hoping to click that award-winning picture or just preserve a memory to last a life time.


Interpretation \ Environmental Education

Along the trails, at kiosks and parking areas there are numerous interpretive and education signs that describe habitats, historical land uses, migratory birds, songbirds and much more. Take the time to read these signs and learn about this unique area.

Map of the refuge

Last updated: September 22, 2010