It’s 2,685 acres wide and home to a subspecies of Canada geese, but you can visit too… Located just south of Salem, the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge was established in the 1960s specifically for these geese.
Unlike other Canada geese, this species only live in a specific range – the Alaskan River Delta in the summer and Oregon’s Willamette Valley during the winter months. By designating this land as a wildlife refuge, these geese have a place to nest adjacent to wetlands and rich with the high protein grasses dusky Canada geese need.
But humans can enjoy the area also, and birders can enjoy the showing of a slew of bird species from viewing areas and shelters around the refuge perimeter. Many birds other than geese gather at the refuge, and it’s common to spot great blue herons, red-winged blackbirds, American coot, and northern shovelers, to name a few.
On the southern edge of the refuge is the Rail Trail which loops through a forest of ash trees on a well-maintained boardwalk and gravel trail.
Please note that dogs are not permitted, and some trails are closed during the winter nesting season.
There is a day use fee of $5 per vehicle.