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Visit the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge

Marci Sischo | 08/16/2018 | Biking, Bird Watching, Family Friendly, Fishing , Hiking, Nature Walks/Trails, Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife

Beautiful William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge is located about twenty minutes south of Corvallis on 99W (map). Visitors can explore one of the last remaining intact wet prairies of the valley, along with wetlands and marshes, oak savannah, douglas fir forests and more. You'll find Canadian geese, Roosevelt elk, bald eagles, thousands of birds, and plenty of other wildlife.

The William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1964, and its main job is to provide a winter habitat for dusky Canadian geese. Dusky Canadian geese have a shorter summer and winter range than other types of Canadian geese, so they nest in Alaska for the summer and winter here in the Willamette Valley.

Finley NWR offers hiking and biking, a driving route, and hunting and fishing opportunities. There are twelve miles of trails to explore, plus historical buildings like the 1855 Fiechter House, which is said to be the oldest building in Benton County. Check it out and get a glimpse at the lives of European settlers! It also marks the track of the Applegate trail, which runs through the refuge. There's also the Carriage House, built in 1933; Cabell Lodge, built in 1912; and more.

The refuge is open from dawn to dusk all year around, although some parts of the park are closed for the winter to protect wildlife in their habitats. While you're there, stop by the refuge's visitor center and gift shop, the Wild Goose Nature Store, located about 1 mile east of the Bellfountain Road entrance. They're open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed on Federal holidays).

For more information, visit the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge's website, or check the links below (click on titles or images).

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1. Plan Your Visit
William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, near Corvallis, Oregon, by Lainey Morse
William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge offers tons of outdoors recreation opportunities to thousands each year. Watch wildlife, check out the amazing views, go hiking or just take a leisurely stroll - there's even a driving route through the refuge! Careful management and regulation lets the public enjoy everything the refuge has to offer, while still protecting the wildlife and habitats.
2. Visitor Activities
William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, near Corvallis, Oregon, by Lainey Morse
Get outside and enjoy the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge and the Snag Boat Bend Unit. See Roosevelt elk, western pond turtles, bald eagles and more. Go hunting or fishing, hiking or biking, or practice your photography. The refuge provides ample opportunity for outdoors fun, and it's just outside of the Corvallis city limits too!
3. Refuge Maps
William L. FInley National Wildlife Refuge, near Corvallis, Oregon, by Lainey Morse
Find a map of the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, along with a map of the trails at the refuge.
4. Trail Descriptions
William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, near Corvallis, Oregon, by Lainey Morse
Finley NWR and Snag Boat Bend have miles of trails, suiting all interest and experience levels. (Be aware of seasonal closures - some of their trails are closed for the winter. Check the website or call their office - 541-757-7236 - for updates.) Trails range in length from about a mile to around two miles, and lead you through routes to see woodpeckers and other wildlife, through oak savannahs, by ponds and marshes and through douglas firs, just for starters.
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Please Note: Benton County, Oregon is currently rated "High Risk" under Oregon's COVID-19 safety framework. Learn what this means for you. Masks are required for those 5 years old and above in all indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces where a physical distance of at least six feet cannot be maintained. Travelers are advised to stay home. Businesses may be closed, operating with altered hours, requiring appointments, and/or have additional safety requirements in place. Please call ahead to businesses you're interested in visiting to confirm if they're open and what they're requiring.
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