Welcome to the official Michigan.gov web site. This site uses adaptive technology. Instructions are provided within the Accessibility Policy. Skip Navigation
DNR BannerMichigan.gov banner
Michigan.gov Home   MI Watchable Wildlife Home  |  Links  |  Contact DNR  |  Ask DNR
>Watchable Wildlifenavigation logo Upper Peninsula Northern Lower Peninsula Southern Lower Peninsula

>Tips for Success
>Wildlife Species

>Watchable Wildlife.org
>Pure Michigan
>Order a Viewing Guide  Wildlife Viewing Guide cover

Visit On-line Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Visit On-line Campground and Harbor Reservations.
Visit the DNR e-Store!
Michigan dnr > wildlife viewing guide > southern lower peninsula > shiawassee

116 Shiawassee River Wetlands Upper Peninsula

ducks in wetland at national wildlife refuge
National Wildlife Refuge
Photo: US Forest Service
state game area wetland
State Game Area

Photo: © Phil Seng
Green point environmental education center
Green Point
Photo: © Phil Seng

Click on the photo to view each site.

This site is a combination of federal, state, and local natural areas that conserves a wonderful complex of river wetlands located just outside of Saginaw. The Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, Shiawassee River State Game Area, and the Green Point Environmental Learning Center provide access to various parts of this unique mosaic of natural areas. The Rivers and streams that come together here drain a total of 22 different counties-the largest watershed in Michigan. Wetlands and backwaters of Flint, the Shiawassee, Tittabawassee, and Cass rivers, provide fantastic habitats for a variety of wetland wildlife. Large numbers of mosquitoes are common here during spring and early summer. Come prepared.

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

wildlife viewing  |  directions and facility information

Wildlife Viewing

ducks in flight
Huge concentrations of ducks and geese descend on wetlands along the Shiawassee River during their spring and fall migration. The Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge alone may host more than 50,000 waterfowl at a time! Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service

This site is home to some incredible waterfowl viewing. There is a good probability of seeing ducks and geese any time of the year, but during March/April and again in October/November, numbers of these birds may be spectacular. It is not uncommon for the refuge to host more than 30,000 ducks and an additional 25,000 geese as they travel between their breeding areas in the North and their wintering areas in the South. This site has been named one of the top 25 birding sites in America. Prothonotary warblers and brown creepers are but two of the interesting birds that spend time at the refuge. The Woodland and Ferguson Bayou nature trails wind among bottomland hardwood forest and wetland areas. An observation tower complete with a 10-power spotting scope along the Ferguson Bayou trail provides a great view of wildlife in the wetlands and bald eagles that like to perch along the river. Bicycling and skiing are allowed along the designated trail systems. Trails are open dawn to dusk year-round, except during the hunting season. Trails may flood during times of high water. Stop at the refuge headquarters for maps and other materials and to determine trail availability during autumn.


Directions to National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters: From Saginaw, take M-13 south about 5 miles to Curtis Road, turn right (west) and proceed less than 1 mile to the refuge headquarters.

Ownership: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (989) 777-5930

Size: 9,000 acres

Closest Towns: Saginaw, St. Charles

Weather and Driving Directions for Saginaw

Plan Your Trip with travel.michigan.org!

More information can be found by visiting the DNR's site (link leads to web app allowing users to search for campgrounds, harbors, trails and more), or by conducting a Google search:


Michigan.gov Home   |  MI Watchable Wildlife Home  |  Report All Poaching 1-800-292-7800  |  Feedback  |  Wildlife  |  Ask DNR
Privacy Policy  |  Link Policy  |  Accessibility Policy  |  Security Policy

Copyright 2001-2003 State of Michigan