Our Services

Frog Pond Photography Blind

One photo blind is available by reservation to the general public.  It is located near Jefferson at Ankeny NWR off Wintel Road on Frog Pond.   The best time of year to photograph wildlife on the Refuges is generally from November through April.  Wading birds, ducks, geese, and raptors are usually present in large numbers throughout the winter.  Other resident wildlife includes beaver, black tail deer, coyote, and squirrels.  All seasons will provide a wide variety of opportunities for nature photography enthusiasts.

Making Reservation

  • By web, phone or email: Advance reservations are accepted by sending an email to willamettevalley@fws.gov, by mailing a written request to the refuge at the address below, or by calling during normal business hours. Include your name, address, phone number, email address, number of people in your party and the date(s) and time(s) you wish to schedule. If corresponding by email, please enter “Wildlife Photo Blind” in the subject line.
  • Reservations should be made no later than two business days prior to requested date. You must receive confirmation of your reservation prior to using the blind.
  • Refuge staff will notify you by email to confirm your reservation. Print this confirmation and leave on dashboard of vehicle at trail head on the reserved day. If the date you have requested is unavailable, you will be given the option to choose another date.
  • The blind is available year-round, subject to the following provisions: 
    • Reservations required during the winter closure season October 1 – March 31 at Ankeny NWR.
    • The blind is available for use without reservations during the remainder of the year. However, other visitors may be encountered in the general vicinity of the blind during this time.
  • Reservations are for the entire day. The blind may be accessed during normal refuge hours, which are sunrise until sunset.
  • Walk-up reservations may be made during normal business hours, if the blinds are available. All reservations are handled out of William L. Finley NWR headquarters, just south of Corvallis off Hwy. 99W. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8am until 4pm. The office is closed on Federal holidays.
  • Please contact the refuge if you must cancel your reservation, so that others may schedule the blind.
  • Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Up to 4 advance reservations can be made up to two months ahead of time.
  • You may schedule only 2 weekend days in any given month.
  • There is no charge to use the blind. However donations for maintenance are appreciated and may be made to the Friends of Willamette Valley NWR Complex, PO Box 2238, Corvallis, OR 97339.

Using the Blind

  • All refuge regulations must be observed.
  • Walking only—no jogging, driving, or bicycling. Pets are not allowed on refuge trails. By following these regulations, you will minimize wildlife disturbance and maximize your wildlife photography opportunities.
  • During winter closure season, no off-trail use is allowed. Photographers must use the established trails to access the blind.
  • Staff, volunteers, or other persons may need access to the general area of the blind. We will try to minimize our impact as much as possible to the photographer.
  • The blind is not handicap accessible. Please contact the refuge if assistance is required.
  • There are no restrooms along the trail. Please plan accordingly. If you take a break, please leave and return to the blind quietly to minimize wildlife disturbance.
  • The blind is built to comfortably accommodate two persons. Chairs are not provided.
  • Smoking is not permitted in the blind.
  • When exiting the blind, please secure door and all windows.

Additional Information

  • Access: Park in designated parking lot north of Wintel Road and east of Pintail Marsh Parking Lot and walk a short distance along the base of the dike to the rear access door of the blind.
  • The Refuge reserves the right to revoke photography privileges. Anyone found to be in violation of any conditions in these guidelines will have their photography blind privileges immediately revoked and will be asked to leave the area.
  • Checklist of helpful items to bring to the blind:
    • Flashlight
    • Binoculars
    • Field guides
    • Bean bag camera rest/tripod
    • Clothes appropriate for season
    • Insect repellent
    • Food, snacks, water
    • Bag for garbage (pack it in, pack it out)
  • Please leave the area and the blind the way you found it.
  • Enjoy your day!