Head north from downtown Fairbanks  about a mile on Illinois Street and take a left at College Road. In another mile is the 2,000-acre Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge (907/459-7307, www.creamersfield.org ) where you might observe migratory birds. Early in the year, the field is plowed and tons of barley is spread around. Sandhill cranes, Canada geese, and many species of ducks stop off at the field in April–May on their migratory route north—a local herald for the arrival of spring.
Follow the driveway to the old dairy barn, where you can pick up a free trail guide. The dairy was the first in Alaska (1904) and the northernmost in the western hemisphere. Charles Creamer owned it from 1928 to 1966, when he sold it to Fish and Game for use as a migratory-waterfowl refuge.
Volunteer-led nature walks (free) depart on weekdays from the Farmhouse Visitors Center (Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. mid-May–mid-Sept., Sat. noon–4 p.m. mid-Sept.–mid-May). Guided birding hikes are offered Monday–Friday at 10 a.m. , plus Wednesday at 7 p.m. June–August.
The Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival  at Creamer’s Field brings nature walks, photography and drawing workshops, music, and talks the last week of August.
At other times, you can head out on the five miles of nature paths to explore forest, shrub, muskeg, and riparian areas. The trail is mostly boardwalk over swamp, with the predictable insectoid results, so bring your bug dope.