The main coordinates will bring you to a newly constructed facility off Highway 99 which appears to be finished on the outside but signs in the window say that the inside is still under construction. However, there is a permanent Coed restroom available off the parking area and many informational boards available explaining the wildlife habitat and the species to look for.
The trails are open and there is an observation platform between the two buildings. The facility is a sight to behold even now before it officially opens. The viewing area offers excellent opportunity for photography and viewing even for those who are unable to walk or navigate the trails. I took my 90 year old mother on Labor Day 2007 on September 3rd. She found the facility very informative and enjoyable just as it was. There are benches to sit on in the shade and lots to see. I, too, was very impressed. I had no idea that this Refuge was so developed. That is saying a lot when you consider that the buildings are not yet open. I will edit this Waymark as time goes by as I expect it should not be long before the facility is fully functional.
This is a "must see" either closed or open. Don't miss it!
Located on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is one of only a handful of urban national wildlife refuges in the country. Just a few short miles from the center of Oregon's largest city, the honking of geese replaces the honking of cars. This special place is a refuge, a haven for wildlife and people. Born of a community's dream, and made possible by their support, a wildlife refuge now thrives in the backyard of a growing metropolis. Situated within the floodplain of the Tualatin River, the Refuge comprises less than 1% of the 712 square mile watershed. Yet,due to its richness and diversity of habitats, the Refuge supports some of the most abundant and varied wildlife in the watershed.
A one-mile long nature trail meanders through a variety of habitats past wildlife viewpoints and ends at the wetland overlook. The nature trail is open year round. From May 1 through September 30, visitors are permitted to walk on 3 miles of gravel service roads. From October 1 to April 30, these roads are closed to all public entry to provide sanctuary for wildlife. No other refuge lands are open to the public.
ENJOYING THE REFUGE:
Tualatn River NWR is a place where wildlife comes first. When visiting, always remember; you are a guest in their home.
The Refuge is open from dawn to dusk throughout the year.
The Refuge offers teacher workshops to educators who would like to bring their students on a field trip. Call to learn more about the curriculum and study areas available for teachers and students.
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY BLIND:
The blind is open on a reservation basis. Call 503 590-5811 to make arrangements.
Visitor service facilities, including trails and overlooks, have been deigned to accommodate visitors needing special assistance. Please contact Refugestaff if you would like further information.
You can click onto the following internet web address to get further information and where the main office is until the main facility opens:
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
1 800 344- WILD
Oregon Relay Service
TTY 1 800 735-2900
Voice 1 800 735-1232
Since the Refuge's establishment in 1992, wildlife managers have been restoring and protecting lands and waters for the benefit of native wildlife and their habitats. These habitats include rivers and streams, seasonal and forested wetlands, riparian areas, grasslands, and forested uplands.
The Refuge is now home to nearly 200 species of birds, over 50 species of mammals, 25 species of reptiles and amphibians, and a wide variety of insects, fish and plants. The Refuge has also become a place where people can experience and learn about wildlife and the places they call home.
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 540 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System-a network of lands and waters set aside specifically for wildlife. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the System is a living heritage, conserving fish, wildlife and their habitas for future generations.
WILDLIFE VIEWING TIPS:
The patient observer will be rewarded with many wildlife viewing opportunities. Every season brings a new wealth of discoveries. Use the following tips to observe and enjoy the varied wildlife found here.
Binoculars and spotting scopes allow you an up close look that does not affect wildlife behavior.
COME EARLY STAY LATE:
Early morning and dusk are the best times of the day to view wildlife. Please note that the Refuge is open from dawn to dusk.
USE IDENTIFICATION GUIDES:
Use field guides to help you identify species of plants and animals. A wildlife list is available from the Refuge.
BE PATIENT & RESPECTFUL:
Move slowly. Quick movements and loud noises will frighten most wildlife away. Try sitting quietly in one location. Animals that have hidden may reapear after a short while. Walk quietly. Be aware of sounds and smells. Often you will hear more than you will see. Teach children quiet observation. Other visitors will appreciate your consideration.
Look for animal signs. Tracks, scat, feathers, and chewed plants left behind often tell interesting stories. Remember to leave these discoveries where you find them.
Please be considerate. For the protection of wildlife, visitors must stay on maintained trails and in designated areas. No off trail use.
Observe from the sidelines and do not approach wildlife too closely. Don't offer snacks; your lunch could disrupt wild digestive systems.
A YEAR OF WILDLIFE:
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is a place to discover an ever-changing panorama of wildlife. As the seasons change, so does wildlife viewing. Located on the Pacific Flyway, the Refuge is an important stopover where migratory waterfowl, songbirds, and shorebirds stop to ret, refuel, and raise their young.
Spring is the time to enjoy the bright colors and singing chorus of migratory songbirds. Many species of songbirds arrive in the spring and use the Refuge as a place to breed and nest.
As seasonal wetlands dry out in the spring, mudflats are left behind. These provide a rich source of invertebrates for migrating shorebirds that are on their journey to their breeding grounds further north.
As migration slows, Refuge wildlife focus on raising their young. Broods of wood ducks and hooded mergansers are commonly seen in the wetlands. Also in summer, wetland plants such as plantain and smartweed grow and become the perfect food for migrating waterfowl that arrive on the Refuge later in the year.
As fall rains begin and temperatures cool. Arctic-nesting birds begin to arrive from their northern breeding grounds. In search of open water, food and shelter, waterfowl find what they need on the Refuge. At the same time, bald eagles become a regular visitor to the Refuge, hunting the increasing numbers of waterfowl found here.
Winter is a spectacular time to visi. Large numbers of waterfowl such as cackling Canada geese, northern pintails, and mallards blanket the R"efuge as they eat the rich source of seeds and plants grown in summer. The Refuge boasts an average of 20,000 waterfowl during mid-winter, and in some years, over 50,000 have been observed in a single day.