Take I-84 south of La Grande to exit 268. Travel NW on Foothill Road (some sources list this as Foothill-Ladd Canyon Road) and watch for the ODFW barn on your left. Explore this area for sparrows. Hike up the hill (open Apr. 11- Dec. 31) to find grouse, a variety of woodpeckers, Lazuli Bunting and the possibility of Great Gray Owl. Proceed north along Foothill road and look for a small yellow sign that marks the entrance to the Ladd Marsh Overlook. This viewpoint is good for viewing nesting Sandhill Cranes including adults with young in the spring and summer. It will also provide long distance views (a scope is really handy here) of American Bittern, American White Pelican, swans and other waterfowl. To reach the Tule Lake Public Access Area (open March 1 – Sept 20), from I-84 exit 268, turn east and cross over the freeway. Turn south on Pierce Rd. and then east on Hot Lake Lane. From here turn south on Hwy 203. Immediately after Hwy 203 crosses over the railroad tracks, turn north on Peach Road. After about 1.3 miles (most of which has wildlife area on both sides of the road) the public access area entrance is on the east side of the road. There is a 1 mile auto route and a parking area (with restrooms) from which 3 miles of trails through the wetlands can be accessed. Most of the remaining wildlife area is closed to the public but viewing can be very good from county roads in the region.Directions
Habitat and Birds
A group of wetlands, marshes, and prairies. Nesting Bobolinks have been found in the wet fields near here (not in recent years) as have a myriad of marsh birds. Thousands of ducks and geese use this area for stop-overs and nesting habitat. Black-necked Stilt and American Avocet may nest here making this one of the only places you can see those species in NE Oregon. Fifteen pairs of Sandhill Cranes nest here and several can be seen with young from several county roads. Listen for American Bittern and watch for Black-crowned Night-herons. Both Virginia Rail and Sora are found here and Yellow-headed Blackbirds are common in summer. Tricolored Blackbirds and Great-tailed Grackle were here in 2009. Look for wintering American Tree Sparrow in the brushy areas along the road.