Explore the most popular hiking trails in William L Finley National Wildlife Refuge with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

3 months ago

3 months ago

love it but dislike the poison oak

Fun, easy hike. Had a lengthy discussion about the woods and how they reminded us of Stranger Things. My middle schoolers kept an eye out for the Demogorgon.

Woodpecker Loop Trail is one of my favorite trails at Finley. It's short, but very beautiful and enjoyable. I like to hike all the way around 1 way and then turn around go and hike it in reverse. Doing that, you'll get about 2 and a 1/2 miles in. Great trail, good mix of trees and open sky. Lots of wildflowers in the spring and early summer.

5 months ago

My new favorite trail! Highly recommended...

Not my favorite trail. Very rough and muddy. I turned around and went back about halfway through because I really wasn’t enjoying it very much.

nature trips
6 months ago

I took this loop to learn about 100 different native weeds, flowers, plants and trees. The trail has quite a bit of poison oak, best to stick well to the trail. A stream and 2 ponds (1 with a bench) are along this trail so good chance to spot frogs. Of coarse, this is a goodly place for birding.

10 months ago

Nice trail for walking or birding, but there are signs posted around the parking asking people not to run on the trails. Too bad.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

easy trail. only saw 4 other people on a Sunday on a 2 hour walk.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Good nature trail to walk on. Gives good views of the marsh

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Short, easy walk through a beautiful wooded area, ending in a great observation point over the wetlands. Many varieties of birds and smaller animals.

We enjoyed a nice walk there. There were no other people around.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Great trail right off the head quarter's parking lot. Several large muddy/standing water areas that required more careful management if people were concerned with muddy or wet shoes. This trail also links to the Woodpecker Loop for a longer hike.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Pretty short hike, but worth it. I did it close to sunset and it was very pretty. But the park closes at dusk

Thursday, April 27, 2017

I recorded the one-way hike from the gated road at the parking lot. I tried going the boardwalk way first, but encountered high water. Really nice walk! I think I had the whole refuge to myself this afternoon!

Sunday, July 03, 2016

This is an appealing "out of the way" small wildlife refuge in a bend of the Willamette River. Only 2.5 flat miles out and back but offering peaceful scenery, wildlife viewing opportunities and just a nice, short, enjoyable outing. Peoria road is close by and road noise will sometimes interfere with what is otherwise a rather intimate setting.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Great hike for the family. Short and very easy.

I went to the William Finley Wildlife Refuge on a "partly sunny" early April day, starting the hike at 9AM.
I parked at the Cabell Lodge parking lot and headed first to the Homer Campbell boarwalk. Loved the bordwalk meandering a few feet above the marsh and crossing a small tributary of Muddy Creek before ending at the edge of Cabell Marsh (nice view of the marsh from the lookout structure at the end of the boardwalk.

I then headed South along Cabell marsh in the direction of Cheadle Barn and the Cheadle Marsh. The sweeping view of Cabell mash and the very large meadows North of Pigeon Butte were very soothing and "grounding" in the early morning fog.

The fog lifted as I reached the Cheadle marsh loop. The very tall grash on the East side of the Cheadle marsh, heavy with morning dew, made for slower progress. However, the relative "intimacy" of that side of the marsh was worth every slightly labored step. At the end of the loop, I circled the Cheadle barn where (according to another morning stroller) barn owls can sometimes be seen. I did not see any that morning.

From the Cheadle barn, I retraced my steps to the the turnoff toward the Pigeon Butte quarry. I went to the top of the butte and had lunch sitting on a friendly flat rock at the edge of the quarry, listening to the raucous chatter of a very large assembly of geese to the south, across Bruce road. The Pigeon butte spur offers wide open views of the South end of the refuge.

Leaving Pigeon butte, I retraced my steps further to the southern tip of Cabell marsh, at which point I turned left in the direction of Cattail pond and Beaver Pond. After about a mile I turned left once again to walk the edge of cattail pond and forge further south to the Western foot of Pigeon butte and another right turn that would lead me to Beaver pond. That section of the trail is "unimproved" (as the refuge map indicates) and does have many muddy and someone overgrown sections. The tree cover was however welcome now that the sun was relentlessly shining down on the refuge.

Beyond Beaver pond, I continues the clockwise walk through the refuge and took the Mill Hill loop trail in the South West corner. Just before completing the loop, I continued on Mill Hill trail toward Intertie trail in order to reach the Woodpecker loop that would lead me back down to the main refuge "auto tour" dirt road and back to the Cabell Lodge.

All together, this hike was a hair under 14.5 miles, mostly "flatish" with the high point at Pigeon butte and a little bit of elevation gain around Mill Hill and at the western end of Woodpecker Loop. I have uploaded the complete track of this hike on this site as well.

I would definitely go back for shorter walks: Homer Campbell to Cabell marsh and back for example, or just Woodpecker loop, or just Cheadle marsh and Cheadle barn if parking along Bruce Road.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

This is a beautiful trail. Near the top of the hill, you'll have a lovely view overlooking the willamette valley. There are benches around a large oak at that overlook (great place for birdwatching), and a little later in the trail by a stunning reflecting pool. Be aware, there are many critters along this path, so watch for the snakes, deer, elk, and birds!

A good one to take the kids to, easy if a bit muddy in spots. Bring the boots!

4 months ago

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