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Woodpecker Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Oregon flag (Iris tenax), Woodpecker Loop (bobcat)
Observation platform, Woodpecker Loop (bobcat)
Bitter cherry (Prunus emarginata), Woodpecker Loop (bobcat)
The Woodpecker Loop in red (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
Poison Oak



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 Woodpecker 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 Woodpecker Loop is a short walk that takes you up to an observation deck and may be connected, via the Intertie Trail, with the Mill Hill Loop Hike as well as other trails in the refuge.

Head up the trail and come to the loop junction. Bear right over a stream on a footbridge and boardwalk. Hike under lichen-draped oaks with some Douglas-fir and a shrubby understory of hazel and wild rose. Pass into an open area with a blooming copse of crabapple. Then pass through a large clump of poison oak. Blackberry thickets also abound and clusters of mistletoe are visible up in the oaks. Come to an observation platform with information signs under a splendid old oak. Take time here to scan the foliage for small birds and, yes, there are several species of woodpecker that haunt these woods. On a nice day, there are expansive views east across the Willamette Valley to the central Cascades, dominated by Mount Jefferson and the Three Sisters.

Continue on the trail to course downhill past a pond and then over a boardwalk. Enter mixed woods of oak, Douglas-fir, Oregon ash and big-leaf maple. Cross a bridge and then a boardwalk in an ash and sedge swale. Then descend to the junction with the Intertie Trail, which connects with the Mill Hill Loop Hike. If you're just doing the Woodpecker Loop, keep straight here and pass under Douglas-firs before entering a mixed deciduous woodland with a mossy grove of contorted maples. Shortly, reach the trailhead parking area.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

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


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 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
  • A Walking Guide to Oregon's Ancient Forests by Wendell Wood
  • Best Short Hikes in Northwest Oregon by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Take a Hike: Portland by Barbara I. Bond
  • Best Hikes With Kids: Oregon by Bonnie Henderson & Zach Urness
  • 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.