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Observation Tower at Swan Lake Refuge

Directions, Address & Contact Info

To reach Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge…

…from Chillicothe, MO: Take Highway 65 South to Highway H East. Turn east on Highway 139 to Highway RA south, which enters the main gate of Swan Lake NWR.

…from Brookfield, MO: Take Highway 36 West to SH 139 South, then to Highway RA, which enters the main gate of Swan Lake NWR.

…from Carrolton, MO: Take Highway 24 East to Highway 11 North. Then turn north on Highway CC, which enters the east gate of Swan Lake NWR approximately 2 miles north of Mendon, MO.

…from Brunswick, MO: Take Highway 11 North to Highway CC North, which enters the east gate of Swan Lake NWR approximately 2 miles north of Mendon, MO.

Location of Swan Lake Refuge

Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge
16194 Swan Lake Ave.
Sumner, MO 64681
Phone: 660-856-3323
Fax: 660-856-3687
E-Mail: SwanLake@fws.gov

Points of Interest

The Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center houses the refuge headquarters. It has a number of hands on exhibits that explain the mission of the refuge. It also has a gift shop  operated by the Friends of Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

In winter (November 1 through February 28), the visitor center is open from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. In summer, (March 1 through October 26), the visitor center is open from 8:00 AM to 4:30PM, Monday through Friday; 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Saturday; and 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM Sunday. The visitor center is also open during all refuge special events.

We have a large viewing observation tower in a converted grain silo east of the visitor center. You are welcome to climb the tower year-round; it is open whenever the visitor center is open, including during special events. It provides an excellent panoramic view of Swan Lake, wetlands, and fields. The tower is locked, and keys may be checked out at the refuge visitor center.

The nature trail is open year-round,and large numbers of geese and other wildlife can be viewed from the trail or main entrance road. You can also drive along the auto tour route, which is open to vehicles from the first Saturday of March through the end of October.

Know Before You Go

The refuge roads are gravel and accessible to most vehicles. During the summer months, you should bring insect repellent if you plan on hiking. We have one short hiking trail, which begins at the visitor center and ends at a viewing platform on the shore of the Swan Lake pool. The rest of the refuge is open to foot travel during the summer months. Many parts of the refuge are wet areas, so waterproof shoes are recommended for walking.

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2014
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