Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge of Saginaw County, Michigan

Hiking Shiawassee National Wildlife RefugeCross country skiing Shiawassee National Wildlife RefugeMountain biking Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

Trail Distance:

9 miles long.

Trail Description:

The Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is a 9,427 acre (38 km²) National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw County managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. It is located in the central portion of the lower peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan, approximately 25 miles (40 km) south of the Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron and five miles (8 km) south of the city of Saginaw. It was established in 1953 to provide habitat for migratory waterfowl.

Known locally as the Shiawassee Flats, the refuge lies in the Saginaw Bay watershed, historically one of the largest and most productive wetland ecosystems in Michigan. Four rivers - the Tittabawassee, Flint, Cass, and Shiawassee - converge on the refuge to form the Saginaw River.

Wildlife and Habitat:

Refuge habitats include riparian, floodplain/bottomland hardwood forests, and emergent marshes, as well as shallow managed wetlands and croplands. Over 265 species of birds have been documented on the refuge, including raptors, shore and wading birds, and more than 100 songbird species. Shiawassee Refuge is designated as a United States Important Bird Area (IBA) for its global significance to migratory waterfowl. It is also one of six focus areas designated by the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Basin Joint Venture of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. During peak populations in late October, up to 25,000 Canada geese and 40,000 ducks are present. A great diversity of other wildlife associated with freshwater marshes and floodplain forests are also found here.

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Permission and information sources are from Contributers to this Web Site, the Department of Natural Resources,, National Park Service, and the USDA Forest Service.


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