Group Leader: Mark Hougardy | Organization: Eugene-based hiking group | Date: in September 2023 | Duration: 1 day | Walking Distance: 4.5 miles | Participants: 5 | Elevation Gain/Loss: 300 feet
Arriving at the Finley National Wildlife Refuge we discovered the Woodpecker Loop Trail was closed for repairs. Instead of beginning our hike on that path, we parked at the Visitor Center and then proceeded to the second part of our planned hike, the Mill Hill Loop. We saw a vulture on the trail. There were numerous flying ants emerging from the ground in several areas. Upon returning to the Visitor Center area, it was learned the nearby and rarely opened Fiechter House was open and staffed with interpreters. The house was built in the 1850s and is considered to be the oldest house in Benton County. After our visit to the Fiechter House, we stopped by the Campbell Boardwalk for a side trip to the Cabell Marsh. We made good use of the opportunity to eat plums and blackberries in the parking area before heading home.