Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge: Rail Trail Loop

EASY 41 reviews

Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge: Rail Trail Loop is a 1.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Jefferson, Oregon that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and birding and is best used from April until October.

DISTANCE
1.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

wildlife

no dogs

Take two boardwalk trails in this guide for some amazing bird watching in this beautiful wildlife refuge south of Salem This wildlife refuge just south of Salem is home to a wide variety of bird species. In this guide you will find two very nice boardwalk trails through wetlands that lead to covered bird blinds for wildlife viewing. Make sure you bring a camera with a good zoom lens and some binoculars.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s an easy 1.4 mile hike definitely recommend, I took my 6 year old and he loved it.

2 months ago

Most of the path is on a bridge, which is beautiful and then it ends in a little field that goes around the water. Lots of ducks and wild life. No dogs allowed though. love it

walking
3 months ago

It’s a neat boardwalk that goes over the water.

6 months ago

nice hike to show the kids the marsh land.

7 months ago

Its just not for me. Half of the trail is a wood plank path over the marshes with chicken wire laid down for traction. The wire is wearing out and sticks out random sharp edges for you to get caught on. The other half of the trail is a path with dried hay cut down to ankle height for you to make your way through.
If this was better maintained, this could be a nice place to spend 15 minutes or so, but that's about it.

walking
10 months ago

Not a well maintained trail. Didn't like walking through the grass as tall as me.

walking
10 months ago

Brought our 2 1/2 year old. He had fun and it was easy enough for him to walk all the way around. Fun walk with lots to see and hear.

walking
11 months ago

Really beautiful and peaceful. I took my 7 year old but I think I'd like to come back alone and just soak in the scenery and birdsong.

walking
11 months ago

Correction: no trail running. Hiking is a stretch, it's actually a walking environment. I took a picture of a sign at the beginning of the trail (located in the image section) that literally says, no running. It's understandable because it's a conservatory established by the Audubon society and many bird watchers come here. It might be nice to provide a more accurate description, seeing as I came here specifically to run. A bit disappointing. Fun for a possibly leisurely stroll with grandma, or finicky children.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Easy hike with little ones. Park of the trail was closed for season in mid march. Was about 1.50miles on the bridge with littles.

Friday, January 06, 2017

The boardwalk trail is phenomenal and gorgeous! Parts will flood at high waters, please use common sense during these times.

hiking
Sunday, July 17, 2016

Great walk for kids!

walking
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Great spot!

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Loved the bridge hiking. Needs some work on some of it but different kind of hike.

hiking
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Super fun

walking
Sunday, January 31, 2016

We went with the kids today, we have one child that has foot / ankle issues so it was wonderful to be able to include her on a "hike"

We saw lots of birds, and were in awe of the swamps. We will definitely do this one again.

birding
Saturday, January 02, 2016

Nice to see water at Ankeny NWR. Last year was very dry. More people than birds. Frozen marsh was beautiful. Wish people knew to be quiet in birding areas...

walking
Sunday, May 03, 2015

Definitely for strolling. It's lovely. There is a raised wooden footpath through a marsh. Lots of birds: ducks, geese mostly but did see a bald eagle and listened to a lovely little bird singing. I have gone in the winter and early spring and I plan to return in the fall to enjoy the changing colors of the leaves.

birding
Saturday, January 03, 2015

Quaint little boardwalk, but not a lot to offer for someone who isn't very interested in birds.

It was a pleasant walk but nothing more, but there weren't many birds around, maybe because of the time of year? I'm not sure, but someone who knows birds would know for sure.

No plans on coming back. :)

walking
Saturday, April 12, 2014

A very simple walk, not a hike. Was good for a nice picnic lunch and a leisurely stroll.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I have to say it is a walk not really a hike but it is perfect for kids and families to have a nice walk and see some wonderful sites. My middle child is blind and really enjoyed the fact that she could use her cane and be completely independent and confident in herself to lead the way. She really enjoys listening to all the animals and nature sounds that you can hear out there. There are very few hikes that she can do and this is one of my favorites to take her on.

hiking
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Beautiful and peaceful stroll. I wouldn't call this trail a hike, but don't let this deter you. It's relaxing with lots to see. Would be great for kids! Took me about 50 minutes to complete. There are a couple great spots along the way for a picnic.

walking
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This is pretty tame. It's possible for you to use a stroller on the majority of this walk. Which, if that's what you're looking for, is pretty great. If it's not, you have a few options to extend your adventures - but not much. Fun for a quick afternoon with kids : tadpoles, frogs, birds, wildlife, etc.

birding
Thursday, May 17, 2012

Its a very nice place, super easy totally ADA accessible. Nice boardwalk around most of it. During the right time of year tons of birds. Better for sight seeing, not so much for hiking or exploring.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Nice little hike along a boardwalk, but if you are looking to do a hike like this a better bet is Finnley Wildlife Refuge a bit further south. I made the mistake of walking past the boardwalk and into the forest portion of the trail that was full of mud in a small section, probably will be dried out by end of May.

Did see a ton of geese though across the street from the boardwalk hike.

hiking
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A simple out & back no elevation change at all. Really cool boardwalk out to a observation blind. I took my daughters (8 & 1.5 years) it was a fun little stretch of the legs

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
3 months ago

7 months ago

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