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Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge’s 12,383 acres are a premier site for observing waterfowl and shorebirds. The “lake,” today more of a shallow, marshy expanse, is an ancient glacial bed fed by Lake Creek. During peak migration periods -- March through April and September through October -- great flocks of as many as 100,000 ducks, 4,000 Tundra Swans, and 40,000 Snow Geese visit the area. It’s an awesome, noisy spectacle easily observed with binoculars. The refuge is recognized by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network as a critical area for migrating and nesting shorebirds. Species include American Avocets, Long-billed Dowitchers, Marbled Godwits, Lesser Yellowlegs, Soras, Black-crowned Night-Herons, and three species of terns; upland birds include Burrowing Owls, Chestnut-collared Longspurs, Savannah Sparrows, and Horned Larks. The 9-mile Prairie Marsh Drive has numbered signs that correspond to an interpretive brochure available at the information kiosk.

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  • fishing
  • hiking
  • paddling