Visitor Activities

Finley NWR Trail

William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge and its Snag Boat Bend Unit provide a plethora of different public use activities. From hiking to hunting to nature photography, we provide ample opportunities, and just outside of the Corvallis city limits too! For information on our refuge trails, check out our Trail Description page. 

  • Wildlife Observation

    If you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, consider a visit to William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge! With over 230 recorded species of birds as well as Roosevelt elk, western pond turtles and much much more, you are sure to see something interesting no matter what time of year. Boardwalk trails, observation blinds, and an auto-tour route are available year-round for excellent viewing opportunities. For more information on our local wildlife, check out our Wildlife & Habitat page. 

  • Interpretation

    Start at our western entrance off of HWY 99 and Finley Road to take an auto tour of Finley NWR! Interpretive panels along the way describe Refuge management practices, native habitats and wildlife, and historic aspects of the land. 

    Hike our Woodpecker Loop trail for an interpretive experience that takes you through 5 different habitat types (and if you look carefully you may spot one of the woodpeckers the trail is named for!). 

    Don't forget to pick up our complex brochure and trail maps at kiosks throughout the Refuge, and stop by our Visitor Center for more information.

  • Environmental Education

    William L. Finley NWR provides educators with great locations to do environmental education all year long. Students can learn about native habitats of the Willamette Valley, endangered species, and bird migration.  

    Is your school, youth, environmental or other group interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants, habitats and ecology of a particular national wildlife refuge? Contact or visit Finley NWR to check on program availability and reservation policies. Refuges are wild places, and we want to teach you more about them!

  • Cultural History

    Finley National Wildlife Refuge not only provides outdoor recreation opportunities, but also a chance to connect with our local heritage! There are 8 historical buildings on the Refuge, two of which served as past Refuge Headquarters! The 1855 Fiechter House, which served as headquarters from the Refuge's beginning in 1964 to 1978, is believed to be one of the oldest buildings of its kind in Benton County.

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  • Wild Goose Nature Store

    Make sure to stop by and browse our Nature Store located in the Finley Visitor Center. Run by the Friends of the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, the store is open Friday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm year round. 

  • Photography

    Perhaps the fastest growing activity on national wildlife refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography. That’s not surprising – the digital camera population explosion and cell phones with ever-improving picture-taking abilities are increasing the number of nature photographers at a rapid rate. You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or have any experience to get started. A small camera or basic cell phone will do just fine for most visitors.

    Wildlife photography is a high-priority activity in the Refuge System and at William L. Finley NWR we provide access to a number of different photography opportunities. More photos are taken from auto tour routes than from any other location on national wildlife refuges. The Finley NWR auto-tour route provides a number of vehicle pullouts that photographers use to capture their wildlife images. Observation blinds on the Homer Campbell Boardwalk and McFadden Marsh Trail also provide excellent photography opportunities.

    We welcome beginning and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures on film, memory card or internal hard drive! 

  • Hunting

    Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage.  Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciation of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs.

    As practiced on refuges, hunting, trapping and fishing do not pose a threat to wildlife populations, and in some instances are necessary for sound wildlife management.  For example, because many of their natural predators are gone, deer populations will often grow too large for the refuge habitat to support.

    Hunting programs can promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on lands and waters in the Refuge System.

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  • Fishing

    As many of the water impoundments on the refuge are seasonal in nature and dry up during the summer months, there is no fishing at William L. Finley NWR. Snag Boat Bend allows fishing below the high-water line, but does not currently have a boat launch. Boat launches can be found 10 road miles up-stream (south) at the McCartney Boat Launch, or down-stream (north) 1 road mile at the Peoria County Park.


    Find more information about fishing on National Wildlife Refuges with the on-line Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuge.