Ankeny Wildlife National Wildlife Refuge

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Ankeny Wildlife Refuge is the very accessible and scenic boardwalk. Take a quiet stroll through along this walk and you’ll be greeted to some very interesting sites, some of them might even swim right underneath you. Native species abound, of course, but be ready for a very large introduced rodent called a Nutria or Coypu. At 14- 20 pounds the adults are much larger than muskrats. Keep a lookout for a long red tongue that flashes out from time to time; another distinguishing characteristic.


The next time you are in or around Salem, Oregon I highly recommend taking a stroll around the Ankeny Wildlife Refuge. Just 12 miles south of Salem, take exit 243 from I-5 and follow the signs from there. Operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service the refuge has an easy but extraordinarily interesting hiking trail that winds through forested marshlands, huge ponds, and vast expanses of open fields. The boardwalk through the wonderland marsh is undoubtedly the highlight of the refuge and offers many opportunities for great wildlife viewing from amphibians to avians. In the open areas be on the lookout for reptiles, rabbits, quail, and the inevitable enormous flocks of Canada geese. There are also numerous locations around the refuge where you can even park you car and settle in for wildlife viewing. 

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