I live right next to Delta Ponds and I have to move next month, which makes me feel sad. The best part of the ponds is the wildlife, and I believe it brings birds to our apartment community. The trail is easy and lovely, and while it does get a lot of traffic, I've only ever encountered a few people while I'm in the trails. I love going on misty gray days. The five-star rating is for the ponds and the wildlife but I have a huge complaint for the surrounding city and the people who inhabit it and share the land with the wildlife.
I have seen my fair share of dead animals along Delta Hwy, and twice in the past six months have seen two real horror stories. The first one involved me witnessing the aftermath of a horrible human who plowed through a family of geese as he entered the highway from Goodpasture Island Rd. We were both entering the highway but he sped past me going about 60 mph on the 40 mph road. By the time I entered the highway the damage was done and he was gone, having already caused two cars to collide. As I entered Delta Hwy, going north, feathers were literally flying. It looked like snow and I was confused because I wasn't sure yet what had happened. Because it was almost dark it was hard to make out the scene and I had to slow way down because I saw bodies in the road. At first I thought they were human and it was quite a surreal situation. I pulled off on the shoulder to assist those who were in the accident. The person who caused it was not present. He/She hit and ran. After making sure everyone was o.k., and 911 had been called, I decided to stay to give a report to the police. I could not believe how many people were running right over the dead geese, some continuing to drive at the normal speed limit as if nothing had happened. The people involved in the accidents were pretty shaken up but everything seemed under control until the unthinkable happened. We were off on the east side of the highway near the guardrail and most people were naturally slowing down to either gauk at the mayhem, or just to be careful getting through. Then, right in front of us, another car who chose not to slow down plowed right into the rear of a car that had slowed down. Both cars skidded toward us and we had to run out of the way to avoid being hit. People were screaming and dazed and it was just a nightmare. The police finally arrived and I believe there was a count of 10 dead geese in the end. What a tragedy. All of this caused by a total jerk who chose to speed onto a highway next to a nature reserve. There was a second incident like this on the entrance ramp onto the Beltline, going east, just a couple weeks later. It's truly sad that people feel their busy lives are so much more important than anything else in the world, but I see it here on a daily basis. Such a shame. The city of Eugene should be responsible for at least putting up some signage to prompt people to slow down if they insist on putting a nature reserve next to a highway.
This short and flat trail hugs the edge of the ponds that gave their name to the Delta Ponds City Park. This makes for an easy and enjoyable stroll despite the omnipresent traffic on Delta Hwy and Goodpasture Island Road.
As of the time of this review (March 2016), there is no way to cross/ford the northern spillway and the trail is and out-and-back proposition (about 1 mile each way from the parking on Goodpasture Island Road & Wimbledon Ct). You can add another half mile or so by also walking the path bordering the River Terrace Apartments to the North (that path dead-ends at an "Area Closed" sign in about .3 miles).
One of the main 'attractions" of the ponds is, of course, the wildlife that calls it home: beavers, turtles, river otters, ducks, egrets, herons, geese, etc.. The Park's site (http://www.eugene-or.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/Delta-Ponds-133 )has a full list of birds that visit the ponds.Along the way, there are several observation platforms and educational displays to learn more about the history and present use of the Delta Ponds.
As he park is essentially on my commute route, I like to stop there once a while after work to shed some of the tension of the daily grind before heading back home. And yes, there will likely always be other people coming up with the idea to vising the Delta Ponds at the same time you do; an important data point as the parking lot has less than 10 spots available.