16 Great Thanksgiving Hikes

16 Great Thanksgiving Hikes

Rene Ebersole
Published: 11/13/2012

More info:  http://www.fws.gov/swlarefugecomplex

No entrance fee. Refuge is 7 miles south of Hackberry, LA. Visit nearby Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge to see more ducks and marsh birds.



Marsh Edge Trail, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Length: 0.4 miles with optional add-on

Wildlife: Woodpeckers, nuthatches, great blue herons, egrets, bald eagles, ducks

More info: http://www.fws.gov/blackwater

The trail leads off of Wildlife Drive. Pay $3 to vehicle to enter Wildlife Drive. For optimum wildlife viewing and a slightly longer hike, walk down the road from the trail to an observation platform over the marsh. Add on the Woods Trail for another half mile. Pick up a map at the refuge kiosk.  


New Mexico

John P. Taylor Jr. Memorial Trail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Length: 1 mile roundtrip          

Wildlife: Sandhill cranes, hawks, American kestrels, northern harriers, snow geese

More info: http://southwest.fws.gov/refuges/newmex/bosque

To see more birds, follow your walk with a short drive to the refuge Flight Deck—a viewing platform over a managed wetland. Pick up a refuge map outside the visitor center. $5 entrance fee per vehicle.    



North Carolina

North Pond Wildlife Trail, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Length: 0.6 miles         

Wildlife: Waterfowl such as pintails widgeon, teal, a variety of ducks, snow geese

More info: http://www.fws.gov/peaisland/

No entrance fee. Trail has three viewing platforms with scopes and a viewing tower. Before you go:  Check the North Carolina Department of Transportation website to confirm that Highway 12 has reopened, as scheduled, after Hurricane Sandy. The road goes through the refuge.



Burford Lake Trail, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Length: 0.7 mile          

Wildlife: Waterfowl, plus bison, longhorn and elk. Bald and golden eagles may start arriving.

More info: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/wichita_mountains/

No entrance fee. For more birds, try the Quanah Parker Trail near the environmental education center. Pick up a map outside the visitor center.



Main Trail, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

Length: 1 mile roundtrip          

Wildlife: Pintails, geese, ducks, widgeons, buffleheads, green-winged teal

More info: http://www.fws.gov/tualatinriver

No entrance fee. You can catch a bus from downtown Portland directly to the refuge. Pick up a map at the kiosk outside the refuge visitor center. Thanksgiving weekend generally coincides with peak migration here. Also check out the pair of bald eagles building a nest in front of the center.



Chachalaca Trail, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

Length: 0.5 miles

Wildlife: Chachalaca, green jays, Altamira orioles, northern beardless tyrannulets, woodland birds, plus animals including armadillo, javelin, and bobcats

More info: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/santa_ana/

Entrance fee: $3. Trail with viewing areas and scopes is wheelchair-accessible. Pick up a map at visitor center kiosk. See the last remaining thorn scrub forest.


Skillern Track Trail, Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

Length: 0.1 mile          

Wildlife: Waterfowl, mottled ducks, blue-winged teal, gadwall, wading birds including great egret and great blue herons, a variety of hawks such has the northern harrier

More info: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Anahuac/

No entrance fee. Pick up a map at the refuge kiosk. Trail skirts a managed wetland and a bayou. The refuge is 20 miles from Anahuac, TX.                        



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