Simpson Park Trail is a 2.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Albany, OR that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
While it is a relatively primitive waterfront trail, this 1.3 mile (2.2 km) trail along the Willamette River is reasonably peaceful most of the time. During much of the year it is not possible to see the Willamette River just on the other side of the dense trees, however. The park trail divides a small lake off from the river, and this is called "First Lake". Simpson Park has a small craft launch (no motorized craft, and the access point closes at dusk). This boat launch is really only for hand-carried craft anyway as a practical matter. The majority of the trail is densely packed gravel, and seems to be pretty good even in wet weather. Birders should keep their eyes out for various forest birds, including passing Cedar Waxwings, and Bald Eagles perched on the trees near the river. In winter there are dozens of pigeons on First Lake. The park is directly across the street from the Talking Water Garden and this area should be explored as well, especially if you are interested in bird life. However, the Talking Water Garden closes at dusk while Simpson Park remains open until 10 (except the small craft launch).