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Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Homer Campbell Memorial Boardwalk - Finley Wildlife Refuge

Easy hike on the wooden Homer Campbell Boardwalk to an observation blind overlooking Cabell Marsh.

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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.9 miles / 3.1 km
Duration: 1 hour or less
Family Friendly
 
Overview: This recently constructed boardwalk winds through the Muddy Creek riparian area that is seasonally flooded with winter rains. Oregon ash and big-leaf maple are the common tree species, providing canopy for many songbirds. Thrushes, bushtits and juncos are commonly heard.

The boardwalk ends at Cabell Marsh, where an observation blind provides seasonal views of a wide variety of dabbling and diving ducks, tundra swans, white pelicans, and other birds. A new extension from the boardwalk, open April 1st through October 31st, provides access to the Cabell Marsh dike.


Tips: To reach the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, travel south 10 miles from Corvallis or north 7.5 miles from Monroe, to milepost 93 on Highway 99W. Turn west on Finley Road.

The trail head is located in the parking area just east of the historical Fiechter House.

Don't forget your binoculars for bird watching.

Points of Interest

Landmark
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Fiechter House/Trailhead

The Fiechter House is located on the original Donation Land Claim site of John Fiechter and is considered one of the oldest buildings in Benton County .

John Fiechter was born in 1822 in Baden, Germany. He immigrated to the United States in 1835 and arrived in Oregon on November 15, 1846. He married Cynthia Ellen Newton on March 21, 1850 when he was 28 and she was 16. The Fiechters had seven children; Melissa, Francis, Marion, Emeline, Rachel, Clarinda, Ellen Ann and Cynthia Ann.

Construction of the house is thought to have begun around 1855 and took two to three years to complete. While the house was being built the large family lived in a log cabin nearby.

In 1861, at the age of 39, John Fiechter was accidentally shot as he prepared to go hunting. Archibald Johnson, a farm laborer from Indiana, who apparently lived on the claim, was with Fiechter. His wife Cynthia was left a widow with seven small children at the age of 27.

In 1862, Cynthia married Archibald Johnson. Together they had five children making a total of twelve children raised in the Fiechter House. The house remained home to the Fiechter/Johnson children until they were married and moved out.

Cynthia and Archibald continued to operate the farmstead until his death in 1889. Cynthia and her son, Francis Marion Fiechter, managed the farmstead until 1906 when it was sold. After the sale of the land, Cynthia moved to Corvallis where she lived until her death in 1924 at the age of 90.
Building
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Fiechter Barn

The Fiechter Barn is located about 250 feet north of the Fiechter House. It is a large, well built farm building from the early twentieth century. The exact date of construction is unknown. The condition of the barn is fair and is currently being used by the Benton County Historical Society to store and display historic farm related equipment.

This building has been placed on the Oregon Inventory of Historic Properties and the Benton County Register of Historic resources.
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Boardwalk

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Observation Blind

Water
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Cabell Marsh

Look for migrating Canada Geese, mallard, Northern pintail, and great blue heron
Pictures in this guide taken by: charpham, JMilesMiller, ae35unit

Homer Campbell Memorial Boardwalk - Finley Wildlife Refuge Trail Map


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About the Author

JMilesMiller
JMilesMiller
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I've always liked the outdoors, but have been into hiking trails heavily since 2009. Everytrail really...

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