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Visitor Activities

A group if visitors on the refuge looking through a telescope watching birds in the sky

Refuges are for people too.  Recreation is geared toward wildlife oriented activites such as wildlife observation, photography, and limited hunting for waterfowl and upland game birds.

 

 

  • Auto Tour Route

    The auto tour route

    Auto Tour Route

    Prairie Marsh Wildlife Drive Auto Tour
    Length: 9 miles
    Time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours
    Open: Year-round (road may be closed due to inclement weather conditions)
    Hours: Daylight hours only

    Come visit the Prairie Marsh Wildlife Drive, a winding gravel road that will bring you in close contact with wildlife and their habitats. Success in seeing wildlife depends on observations skills, timing, the season, and just plain luck. The timing of your visit makes a difference; wildlife is most active in early morning or late afternoon. If you visit during peak water conditions in the spring and fall months, you will enjoy watching ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds that have stopped here during their migration.

    Ten numbered stops along the drive correspond to a map provided at the Information Kiosk at the beginning of the drive. These points offer an opportunity to reflect on the species, habitat, history and management of Benton Lake NWR.

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  • Hunting

    Hunting

    Waterfowl and upland game bird hunting is permitted during the fall in designated hunting areas. The Refuge complies with state hunting regulations and enforces several Refuge specific hunting regulations.
     

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  • Fishing

    Pumphouse

    The pumphouse unit of the Refuge is open for fishing. Contact Refuge staff for specific regulations  

  • Wildlife Viewing

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    Come visit the Prairie Marsh Wildlife Drive, a winding, 9-mile long gravel road that will bring you in close contact with wildlife and their habitats. Success in seeing wildlife depends on observation skills, timing, the season, and just plain luck. The timing of your visit makes a difference; wildlife is most active in early morning or late afternoon. If you visit during peak water conditions in the spring and fall months, you will enjoy watching ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds that stop here during their migration.

     

    Learn More
  • Interpretation

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    Ten numbered stops along the Prairie Marsh Wildlife Drive correspond to a map provided at the information kiosk at the beginning of the drive. These points offer an opportunity to reflect on the species, habitat, history, and management of Benton Lake NWR.
     

  • Environmental Education

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    The Refuge offers joint-sponsored outdoor education with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. These courses include the "Youth Waterfowl Safety Classes and Hunt," and the "Becoming an Outdoor Woman" series.
     

    Upon request, staff may provide children's programs to groups such as, the Boys & Girls Club, Homeschoolers, and Boy Scouts of America.  Contact the refuge staff for scheduling and availability.

  • Photography

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    Listen to the call of the wild from the photo/observation blind on the north end of Unit 1. Sit virtually unseen and watch the shorebirds and waterfowl forage for food or fly directly overhead. The blind, an Eagle Scout project, provides viewing opportunities and is furnished with two chairs and an observation log. Take your time and enjoy the sights and sounds of your National Wildlife Refuge.
     

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: Apr 01, 2013
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