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Mill Hill Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Old road track on the Mill Hill Loop (bobcat)
Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), Mill Hill Loop (bobcat)
Fairy lanterns (Prosartes smithii), Mill Hill Loop (bobcat)
Oval-leaf shooting star (Dodecatheon hendersonii), Mill Hill Loop (bobcat)
The Mill Hill Loop shown in red (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Mill Hill TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Gray Creek
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Lollipop loop
  • Distance: 2.8 miles
  • Elevation gain: 110 feet
  • High Point: 440 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No
Poison Oak

Contents

Description

The William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, named after a respected 20th century wildlife photographer and conservationist, is one of three Willamette Valley refuges set up to protect habitat for wintering waterfowl, especially the dusky Canada goose (Branta canadensis occidentalis). Several short trails in the refuge, including the Mill Hill Loop, are open all year, while others can be hiked after April 1st. Characteristic habitat here includes wetlands and riparian shrubbery at the lowest elevations and mixed forest dominated by Douglas-fir, Oregon white oak, and big-leaf maple on hillsides. There are also numerous meadows and open fields. The Mill Hill Loop is a short hike that takes you across oak savannah and some Douglas-fir woodland, with views of Gray Creek and a colorful and varied wildflower display in the spring.

From the trailhead, get a view of the Display Pond, which should have a diversity of waterfowl plying its waters. Head to your right, paralleling the refuge road, into Douglas-fir woods and come to the junction with the Intertie Trail, where you go left into an open oak savannah with serviceberry bushes blooming in spring (Going right would connect you with the Woodpecker Loop Hike). Reach a gravel road and go right, strolling through an oak forest. At a junction for many destinations, go right and uphill on the Mill Hill Trail. Soon reach another junction for the loop and go right. Walk in lovely, mossy oak woods blooming with toothworts, orchids and violets in spring. Higher up, more Douglas-firs enter the mix. The trail exits these more mature woods and bends left, heading down a grassy alley bordered by young Douglas-firs with the occasional grand fir. Mosquitoes whine in profusion here during spring. Head up above marshy Gray Creek on the old road bed (Look for wood ducks on the creek) and at a junction, keep right (straight) to end the loop. Soon come to the main junction and proceed left to retrace your steps to the trailhead.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • No fee
  • No dogs allowed
  • Port-a-potty at trailhead
  • Obey wildlife refuge No Entry signs

Maps

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Oregon's Best Wildflower Hikes: Northwest Region by George Werther
  • Wild in the Willamette edited by Lorraine Anderson with Abby Phillips Metzger
  • Corvallis Trails by Margie C. Powell
  • 75 Hikes in Oregon's Coast Range and Siskiyous by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast and Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Take a Hike: Portland by Barbara I. Bond
  • A Walking Guide to Oregon's Ancient Forests by Wendell Wood
  • A Guide to Trails in the Corvallis Area by Phillip R. Hays

More Links


Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.