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A Talk on the Wild Side.

For a Wilder Thanksgiving, Try These Refuge Trails

By Susan Morse, USFWS

Looking for a way to walk off that Thanksgiving meal?

Plan to feast your eyes on some live birds, instead, and get outdoors for a post-Thanksgiving day hike!

pintailsNorthern pintails take flight. (Photo: Mike Peters/USFWS)

There’s no more wondrous or bird-filled place to do it than a national wildlife refuge, but don't just take our word for it.

Audubon Magazine gives the idea a thumbs up, too.

Check out their 16 short, family-friendly hikes on refuges around the country where you and your duckies can count on seeing birds and other wildlife.

What kinds of birds? Everything from sandhill cranes to eagles, from ducks and geese to chachalaca (try saying it fast), depending on your locale. Not just birds. Make that skies-ful of birds. The kids are going to love this. So will you.

Refuge trails are open daily even when refuge offices are closed, as they are Thanksgiving Day. Grab a free trail map outside the refuge visitor center. Most refuges offices are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend.

Some refuges also are hosting Thanksgiving events for the public. Check out events here.

Enjoy the holiday! See you on the trail!

Susan Morse is a writer/editor for the National Wildlife Refuge System

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