Seney National Wildlife Refuge is a 96,000 acre established in the 1930s on land scarred from logging and farming. Today, its diverse habitat of forest, wetland and meadow—created with a system of dikes and spillways—supports more than 200 bird species.
The refuge’s main entrance on M-77 near Germfask includes a visitor center, informational and educational booths, public restrooms and a gift shop that sells everything from souvenirs to mosquito netting (which gives you a sense of how buggy the refuge can be in early summer). Guests can rent binoculars for free and get a variety of information about what to see from the well-informed volunteers and staff. The refuge also offers informational presentations, nature hikes and occasional photography classes for those who plan ahead. Events are posted on the refuge’s website.
From the main entrance, visitors can drive two different tour routes, the 7-mile Marshland Wildlife Drive and the 3.5-mile Fishing Loop. Interpretive signs and observation decks help identify birds and other wildlife. Common sightings include Canada geese, sandhill cranes, loons, osprey, eagles and endangered trumpeter swans, reintroduced in the refuge in the early ‘90s. Much more of the refuge is open to the public on foot and bicycle, on nearly 100 miles of gravel roads, nature paths and cross-country ski trails.