Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge: Rail Trail Loop

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Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge

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, and bird watching and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 1.4 miles Elevation Gain: 6 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly



bird watching



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.

5 days ago

Love the walk to the viewing building

off trail
over grown
18 days ago

Good hike. NO DOGS ALLOWED. Didn’t know that until we got in the trail and was yelled at by a woman. We finished anyway. It’s quiet and beautiful out there.

Fun hike. Boardwalk for part, high grass for the rest. My just turned three year old twins loved it. Despite toddler noise, we saw many wood ducks, a few herons, a frog, and a newt!

3 months ago

Nice walk on the boardwalk. Heard lots of birds, owls & frogs but the only critters close enough for a photo were a couple of Nutria. The area beyond each end of the boardwalk was closed until April for wildlife wintering.

5 months ago

easy and fast

7 months ago

Short and easy walk.

7 months ago

Nice walk. Easy trail.

8 months ago

It was a great little get away with the kids and I not super impressed it wasn't really a hike but it was more more thing to knock out of this app

Sat Apr 20 2019

My notes, I took Ankeny Hill Road to Ankeny Hill overlook, that was not impressive, so I continued and took buena vista to eagle marsh kiosk. Great overlook and a really nice trail. Next time take I’ll go opposite side and from I-5 take Wintel Road to rail trail loop area.

Tue Mar 19 2019

A nice quiet peaceful place. It's close to home and I like the boardwalk. There are birds, frogs, snakes, and beavers. If you're in Salem and want to get outside but don't want to drive far or you're short on time, this would be a good choice.

Mon Jul 23 2018

It was a nice hike. They have a wooden path that you hike on with railings. I went in the summer and the water was pretty dried up so it was mostly mud under the cat walk. Saw a snake, and a beaver along with some birds. Not dog friendly. Sign says no pets allowed.

Wed May 30 2018

the grass after the boardwalk was very high, but what a lively walk! herons, ducks, and lots of frogs, drgaonflys, red winged black birds and even an owl... will do again!

Sun May 13 2018

so peaceful and beautiful loved this hike yeah the grass was kinda high but hay it's nature loved it

Sat Feb 17 2018

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

Mon Feb 12 2018

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

Sun Jan 07 2018

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

Mon Oct 09 2017

nice hike to show the kids the marsh land.

Sat Sep 16 2017

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.

Sun Jun 04 2017

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

Mon May 29 2017

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.

Sun May 07 2017

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.

Sat Apr 29 2017

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.

Sun Mar 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.

Fri Jan 06 2017

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

Sun Jul 17 2016

Great walk for kids!

Sat Jun 11 2016

Great spot!

Sun Mar 06 2016

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

Tue Feb 16 2016

Super fun

Sun Jan 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.

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