Welcome to the Willows Trail and Butterfly Garden!
There is access to over 0.4 miles of accessible trails and an additional 0.4 miles of primitive trails in this section of the wildlife refuge. There are also six wildlife observation areas where you can sit down and enjoy all the beautiful things this area has to offer. There are two water features on either side of the pond at the observation platform on the west side of the trail. Please keep your animals on a leash and be courteous to other visitors whose reason for visiting might be different than yours. This trail is a hot spot for birding.
What is birding?
If you have ever watched a bird then you can call yourself a birder, but where the real fun comes in is when you pick up a pair of binoculars! Suddenly, that little brown smudge of a bird comes to life! Now it has a yellow spot on his rump (yellow-rumped warbler) or a black mask with a white hood and a yellow throat (common yellowthroat) or a yellow mask with a black throat and hood (hooded warbler). There is a lot to learn and it takes time, patience, and soft voices. Stop by the visitor center and ask if you can borrow a pair of binoculars. The best place to begin your birding journey is at Shoveler Pond. By clicking on this link you will be directed to the Shoveler Pond information page. There you will see many of the larger wading birds, water birds, raptors, etc. that you may also see at this location.
Visit our Migratory Song Birds page for a list of common species and some information on why they are here and when you can find them. If you would like to see a bar-chart of all of the birds which have been recorded in this area, then click on this "e-bird" link.