Auto trail coming to Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, photo by Wigwam Jones.

The Great Lakes Echo has a feature by Emma Ogutu about a 7.5-mile auto trail through Saginaw County’s Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge that opens in May (assuming the eagles cooperate).

“Everything will depend on a pair of eagles which built a nest just 50 feet off the road. It all depends if they start nesting early or late– it’s critical that we do not disturb them,” DeVries said (Ed DeVries, assistant manager of the refuge).

The gravel trail, which was completed in November, will be the second of its kind in the state, after one in the Upper Peninsula’s Seney National Wildlife Refuge.

Along the trail are two new observation decks with spotting scopes to assist visitors in viewing more birds, DeVries said. The refuge has also constructed a parking area to accommodate the anticipated larger amount of traffic and a new fishing and canoe access site along the Spaulding Drain.

“Previously we had only one day in September where tourists were allowed to drive in the refuge,” DeVries said. “With the new trail, it’s going to be possible for more people to view a wider variety of birds and other wildlife throughout spring and summer seasons.”

The Shiawassee refuge was established in 1953 to protect and increase the breeding of migratory birds and other wildlife. The refuge includes marsh areas, swamps, bogs, grasslands and forests and has one of largest and most productive wetland ecosystems in the state, according to the service.

Learn more about the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.

Check Wigwam Jones’ photo out background big and in his Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge slideshow.

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