Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is located in northwestern Missouri and is about 50 miles Northwest of St. Joseph. It is one of the better wildlife refuges that Karen and I have ever been to. The best time to go is in the fall or spring when the thousands of ducks and geese are passing through the Central Flyway. Another good time to go is in winter since four hundred bald eagles are annually spotted in and around the refuge. We were there over the Thanksgiving weekend looking for bald eagles. We there a little early so we did see any adult bald eagles at that time, we think we spotted a few juvenile bald eagles flying in the sky but it was hard for us to tell. Karen and I are certain that we saw two golden eagles. Despite the fact that we did not see any adult bald eagles we both really enjoyed our time there.
The refuge is made up of 7,350 acres of Missouri River floodplain. There are a few short hiking trails throughout the refuge one of them starts at the headquarters and goes for a half a mile to the top of Loess Bluff where you can get an excellent view of the surrounding area. Another one that Karen and I hiked while we were there was the Eagle Overlook Trail which follows an embankment that separates Eagle and Pelican Pools. The Eagle Overlook Trail was a great opportunity for us to get closer to the many pelicans that were at the refuge.
The headquarters had several exhibits information about the refuge including several taxadermied species of birds and animals that can be found at the park. They also had two small aquariums that housed two live snakes that are also examples that can be found in the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge area. The staff there was extremely helpful and was ready to answer any questions that Karen or I had.
The main part of the refuge is a ten mile gravel, well graded, auto-tour route. Karen and I were in a compact rental car and had no problems navigating the roads. We recommend that you bring a lunch with you and eat it in your car at the park. We had not thought that far in advanced and probably would have gone around the auto-route twice if we would have brought a lunch with us. Instead we had to cut our trip shorter than we wanted and head back to St. Joseph to eat.
Besides the hundreds of thousands of birds you can see in the park in the spring and fall, which are comprised of over three hundred species, Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is also home to thirty species of mammals and forty species of reptile and amphibians. So, come to see the birds but stay to look for the other species of wildlife.
Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge
Located off I29 and Highway 59 just south of Mound City Missouri
Cost as of 2011 Free
For more information visit their website at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/SquawCreek/index.html another good website to find useful information is http://www.squawcreek.org/index.html
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