Specifically created for Dusky Canada Geese, this 2,796-acre refuge has wetlands, fields, and Oregon ash mixed with cottonwood gallery forest. Dusky and other subspecies of Canada Goose, as well as large flocks of Cackling Goose, graze the open fields in winter. Look for wintering waterfowl, swans, large flocks of Dunlin, Great Blue Heron, and Great Egret in the wetlands. The wetlands are reliable for Ruddy Duck, Lesser Scaup, Canvasback, and Black Phoebe. Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Red-tailed Hawk, and occasionally Red-shouldered Hawk hunt from the tree lines. Most of the interior of the refuge is closed to public entry while the geese are in residence from October through March, with two boardwalks and several viewing areas open year round.
The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset. Restroom facilities are on Ankeny Hill Rd.
To the west of the refuge on Buena Vista Rd, look for Acorn Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch and the occasional Lewis’s Woodpecker in groves of Oregon white oak. The Buena Vista ferry at the W end of Buena Vista Rd links to the Luckiamute Loop 3 mi N of Site L10; note that the ferry is closed during high water in winter, and Mondays & Tuesdays the rest of the year.
From I-5 between Salem and Albany: take Exit 243 and drive W on Ankeny Hill Rd. From downtown Salem: go S on Liberty Rd about 9 mi to where it turns SE, becomes Buena Vista Rd and is intersected by Ankeny Hill Rd. Access and viewing points are along Ankeny Hill, Buena Vista, and Wintel Rds, which form a loop around the refuge. GPS 44 46 N, 123 5 W.