An appreciation for the wild diversity of our unique ecosystem means there are plenty of great places to connect with nature and encounter wildlife in and around Wilsonville.
Part of the large Ice Age Tonquin geological area, the Coffee Lake Wetlands in Wilsonville is an important fish and wildlife habitat. Birders will love catching a glimpse of the different species that call Coffee Lake home, including marsh wrens, red-breasted sapsuckers, American kestrels and red-tailed hawks.
Learn about the area’s Native American and farming history as well as ogle native wildlife at Graham Oaks Nature Park. Three miles of trails stretch across the 250-acre park where you can choose your own adventure in a restored oak woodland, conifer forest or wetland sanctuary. Eventually, this park will connect via the Tonquin trail to the Willamette River and the cities of Sherwood and Tualatin.
The Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge is one of a few national wildlife sanctuaries in the United States. A refuge for migrating birds, threatened and endangered species and other resident wildlife, the 1856 acres of wetlands and lowlands provide an opportunity for wildlife viewing unlike any other. (As many as 50,000 Canadian geese have been observed in one day.)
View wildlife in its natural habitat at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve in Wilsonville. Learn about the birds, wildlife and native plants inhabiting the 635-acre refuge at the interactive educational center. Over four miles of public trails wind guests through the wetlands and uplands, where over 211 species of birds are sighted annually, including Bald Eagles and Great Blue Herons.
Feed the Elk & Pet a Deer
For a unique wildlife experience, take a tour of Rosse Posse Acres in Molalla. A 52-acre working elk ranch with 70 head of elk and, Rosse Posse has a paved walking trail that lets you get close to the elk as they come running for their favorite oat treats. The kiddos will love the small petting zoo with friendly deer, pygmy goats, miniature donkeys and a wallaby named Tucker.
A Swift Watch
One of Portland’s most sensational wildlife events takes place every August as thousands of Vaux’s Swifts flock to the city in preparation for the long journey south. They typically return to the same roost year after year. One Swift population has returned to the Chapman Elementary School chimney every year since the 1980s. Swift Watch has become a beloved event at Chapman. More than 2000 people gather on warm September evenings to watch these marvels of nature.
Have questions about the best places to view wildlife in Wilsonville? Contact us and we’ll point you in the right direction.