William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge

AreaWillamette Valley
Best time to visitApril and May
Blooming NowYES
Elevation325-440 feet
Trail InfoVaries dependent upon trail
DogsPROHIBITED. Please respect this location by leaving your dog at home.

NOTE: The blue marker indicates the trailhead.


Located in the Willamette Valley south of Corvallis, the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge was established to provide wintering habitat for geese, particularly the dusky Canadian goose. It is comprised of diverse habitats including riparian forest, upland forest, upland prairie, wet prairie, wetlands, and farm fields. The Refuge also includes several historic buildings worth seeing.

A fine display of spring wildflowers can be viewed within the Refuge. Some of the woodland species that bloom here include: Oregon Fawn Lily (Erythronium oregonum), Western Buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis), Fairyslipper (Calypso bulbosa), Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum), Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), Henderson's Shooting Star (Dodecatheon hendersonii), Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa), Western Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia var. semiintegrifolia), Fairy Lanterns (Prosartes smithii), Wood Violet (Viola glabella), Oregon Iris (Iris tenax), False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum racemosum), and Mountain Sweet-Cicely (Osmorhiza berteroi). Some of the meadow varieties include: Common Camas (Camassia quamash), Rose Checker Mallow (Sidalcea virgata), Rosy Plectritis (Plectritis congesta), and reintroduced Golden Paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta).

Here are the best trails for wildflower viewing:

The Woodpecker Loop is gravel and boardwalk, and thus relatively dry. However, both the Mill Hill and Beaver/Cattail Pond loops have sections which are wet and muddy during spring, so hiking boots are strongly recommended. In fact, rubber boots may be better for the Beaver/Cattail Pond loop.

For more information, visit the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service web site.


Woodpecker Loop and Mill Hill Loop: From Corvallis, drive south on Highway 99W. Approximately 8.5 miles beyond Crystal Lake Drive, turn right onto Finley Road (at the sign for Rigor Farm). Drive 1.3 miles and turn left onto Finley Refuge Road at the sign marking the entrance to the Refuge. The Woodpecker Loop trailhead is 2.2 miles from the entrance (3.5 miles from Highway 99W). The Mill Hill Loop trailhead is 0.4 miles further along the gravel road (3.9 miles from Highway 99W), at a kiosk and parking area on the left side of the road.

Beaver and Cattail Pond Loop: Proceed 2.7 miles beyond Wildlife Refuge Road (11.2 total miles south of Crystal Lake Drive in Corvallis) and turn right at the RFP Family Store onto Bruce Road. Approximately 1.9 miles from Highway 99W, look for a sign labelled "Interpretive View Point" on your right. You will see a small parking area with several signs. The trail starts just beyond the gate along the old tree-lined lane, which is a section of the historic Applegate Trail.

NOTE: Dogs are not allowed on any trails within the Wildlife Refuge!

Trip Reports

DateSubmitted by
Reports from previous years
04/18/2023Greg Lief
05/23/2017Greg Lief
05/02/2017Greg Lief
05/24/2016Greg Lief
05/05/2015Wendell Hendershott
04/25/2015Greg Lief
04/11/2015Wendell Hendershott
03/28/2015Greg Lief
04/29/2012Greg Lief
04/29/2012Judi Sanders
05/03/2008Greg Lief
04/21/2007Greg Lief
04/19/2007Greg Lief
04/12/2007Greg Lief
04/04/2007Rory Nichols

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Photo Gallery

Oregon Iris at William Finley NWR

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'Wildflowers don`t care where they grow.' -- Dolly Parton