Locally known as the Shiawassee Flats, this National Wildlife Refuge provides scenic drives and hiking trails. At nearly 10,000 acres, this reserve safeguards invaluable floodplain habitat while providing opportunities to connect with nature.
As several rivers including the Bad, Cass, and Flint converge into the Shiawassee River here, the refuge encompasses an expansive floodplain. This unique landscape allows the rivers to naturally swell and recede, nourishing the marshes. The Shiawassee flows on to meet the Saginaw River, eventually reaching Lake Huron.
This diverse wetland habitat attracts a profusion of birds. Hundreds of species make their home among the marshy pools and grassy fields or stop to rest during migrations. Each fall, thousands of ducks and honking Canada geese descend on the refuge during their southerly journeys.
Visitors can observe an array of wildlife along the 6.5-mile Wildlife Drive loop, open seasonally for auto touring. Nature lovers will also enjoy hiking along the Ferguson Bayou Trail through tranquil wetland scenery. Interpretive signs explain the refuge’s ecology and inhabitants.
At the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, ecologically invaluable wetlands provide sanctuary for wildlife while creating opportunity for memorable nature experiences. Located at 6975 Mower Road near Saginaw, this protected landscape offers a window into Michigan’s vulnerable wild places.