Description - The Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of approximately 9,100 acres of marsh, bottomland hardwood, grassland and agricultural lands. Diverse low-lying habitat that include four rivers forming Michigan's largest tributary, Saginaw River, host large concentrations of migrating bird life that include waterfowl, wading birds, songbirds, raptors, and shorebirds for a total exceeding 250 species. In addition the acreage near Frankenmuth, Shiawassee NWR oversees two satellite areas: Wyandotte National Wildlife Refuge and part of the Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
White-tailed Deer are commonly called Virginia Deer
- The Conservation Fund in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service obtained 113 acres to establish Great Lakes Visitors Center and an accompanying trail network highlighting wildlife observation stations. With diverse habitat that frequently floods, bird watching is excellent particularly during spring and fall migration periods. Over 250 species of waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, songbirds and raptors have been identified at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. Some of the more commonly spotted birds include double-crested cormorant, great blue heron, Canada goose, wood duck, green-winged teal, American black duck, mallard, blue-winged teal, red-tailed hawk, killdeer, ring-billed gull, mourning dove, northern flicker, great created flycatcher, horned lark, northern rough-winged swallow, black-capped chickadee, tufted titmouse, white-breasted nuthatch, yellow warbler, and the northern cardinal.
The refuge is open to a variety of outdoor pursuits including fishing, boating, hunting, hiking, biking, and more. The site is open all year and no entrance fee is charged.
Recreation - Recreations available to the Shiawassee NWR visitor include touring the visitor center, participating in adult and children's educational programs, taking a guided tour, scenic driving, viewing wildlife and plant life, viewing historical sites, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, freshwater fishing, hunting for big game and waterfowl, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Many areas and facilities are ADA compliant.
Climate - Saginaw Bay has mild to warm summers with temperatures averaging above 70 degrees F (above 21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average 18 to 22 degrees F (-8 to -6 degrees C). This is the driest region in the state with yearly precipitation amounts hovering around 28 inches.
The refuge is located about six miles south of Saginaw, which is southwest of the "Thumb."