Facility Activities

Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge provides a plethora of different public use activities. From hiking to nature photography, there is plenty to do, and just off Interstate-5 too!

Wildlife Viewing

If you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, consider a visit to your nearest national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
! At Ankeny wildlife viewing opportunities range from the stately great blue heron, to chittering western gray squirrels and kreck-ek-ing pacific chorus frogs.


For interpretive experiences at Ankeny NWR, check out Ankeny Hill Overlook, the Eagle Marsh Kiosk, Rail Trail Boardwalk, or the Pintail & Egret Marsh Boardwalk. 

Ankeny Nature Center (Coming Soon!)

Did you know Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge is partnering with the Salem Audubon Society to build a Nature Center on Ankeny Hill? The building is currently in the design process, but stay tuned for more details and information on future environmental education opportunities on the refuge!


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.

We welcome beginning and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures on film, memory card or internal hard drive! Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge considers wildlife photography to be a high-priority activity, and we even provide a photography blind on Frog Pond at the Refuge. 

To learn more about our photography blind and the reservation process, follow the link below.

Many refuges champion wildlife viewing as a key recreational activity.
Rangers lead wildlife walks, tours and educational programs at many sites. Events may focus on wildflowers or birds or on seasonal spectacles, such as elk bugling or sea turtle nesting. Some programs may be limited in size or require advance registration. See individual websites for details.
Whether you wield a smartphone or a zoom lens, you’ll find photo-worthy subjects at national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. Wildlife photography is a priority public use on national wildlife refuges, so you’ll find wildlife drives and blinds and overlooks to help you get the images you’re after.
Take your pick of 2,100 miles of refreshing trails and boardwalks. Whether you want a short, easy walk or a challenging hike, you’re likely to find what you want. Some trails are paved and universally accessible. Some trails include displays on visual arts, local history and culture or environmental education.