Willard Springs Trail

The Willard Springs Trail is a two-mile loop along the edge of the open marsh and into the pines. Beginning at the refuge headquarters, it parallels the west shore of the old Conboy Lake lakebed, with views across the lakebed and north to the 12,000-foot Mt. Adams. The trail is the most popular hike in the area and suitable for all skill levels, but it is not officially ADA accessible. The return portion of the Willard Springs Trail uses an old dirt road for approximately 3/4 mile. The trail has some gentle grades. Blackbirds, swallows and some hawks can be seen in the fields. Look for wood ducks and cinnamon teal in the canals near the trail. Cranes can sometimes be seen in the early spring just prior to nesting. Spring is also good for viewing snipe, elk, deer and, of course, wildflowers. Listen for woodpeckers and look for them on standing dead trees. Northern flickers, nuthatches, chickadees, towhees, flycatchers—all frequent the forest. In addition to these, look for such colorful migrants as tanagers, orioles, warblers, grosbeaks and crossbills. Watch the trail for elk or deer tracks. Signs of beaver and porcupine activity are also visible.
Trail Length (mi)
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Estimated Time
1 Hour
Route Type
View Trail