Description - Michigan's National Wildlife Refuges provide excellent habitat for waterfowl, other bird life and an abundance of wildlife that include rare and endangered species. In the Lower Peninsula, Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge encompasses about 9,100 acres of marsh, bottomland hardwood, grassland and agricultural lands hosting large concentrations of migrating birds that nest, feed, and rest amid the site's four large rivers which ultimately create Michigan's largest tributary, the Saginaw River. In the Upper Peninsula, Seney, Huron and Harbor Island NWRs comprise nearly 100,000 acres of diverse wetland and upland habitats that also support a wide variety of bird life and wildlife that include notables such as moose, black bear, bobcat, and river otters.
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Moose feeding at woodland stream
- The facilities and activities enjoyed at Michigan's four national wildlife refuges are nearly as diverse as the habitats they support. Seney National Wildlife Refuge is located in the Upper Peninsula about an hour's drive northwest of the Mackinac Bridge. Seney boasts 95,455 acres of marsh, field, and forest where visitors can discover through exhibits, hikes, and guided tours, the areas 50 mammal species, 200 bird species, and 26 fish species. Located off the south shore of Lake Superior, Huron National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of 8 remote wilderness islands totaling 147 acres with habitat varying from red pines and white birch stands to sprawling ground vegetation to barren granite. Remote access affords day hiking, sunbathing, and fishing. Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge located north of Drummond Island is a nature photographer's haven with its marsh-lined harbor, sandy beaches, and mature stands of balsam fir and paper birch. Located in the Lower Peninsula, Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge features a large visitor center complex amid its 9,100 acres of marsh, bottomland hardwood, grassland and agricultural lands. From nature study to bird watching, the area attracts visitors of all ages and abilities throughout the entire year.
Recreation - Michigan's National Wildlife Refuges offer opportunities for bird watching, viewing wildlife, nature study, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, freshwater fishing, hunting, viewing historical sights, nature photography, scenic driving, and more.
Climate - This state normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures near 70 to 80 degrees F. Nights can be cool in the northern reaches of the state with lows dipping near 50 degrees F. August and September are the wettest months on average. Fall temperatures begin to cool in mid September, which brings a spectacular fall foliage color change. Days are crisp and nights chilly during this time of year. Winters can be brutal in Michigan with lake-effect snows bringing 200 inches of snow to some areas in the Upper Peninsula. Spring reaches the southern regions of the state in late March and a few weeks later in the north. This time of year is also very wet with snow melt and spring rains.
The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife manage four wildlife refuges in Michigan along with several satellite locations. Three of the four rest in the Upper Peninsula and one, Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, is in northern Lower Peninsula.