Whether you are a birder, a hunter, or just want to enjoy time in nature there are opportunities at Marais des Cygnes. The bottomland hardwood forests that are the the reason for the Refuge's establishment play host to numerous species of birds, some of which are not common in other parts of the state. Prothonotary warblers nest here in the summer and numerous species of warblers pass through in the spring and fall. Red-headed woodpeckers are a common sight and often heard on the Refuge. Numerous small ponds throughout the Refuge provide habitat and also a place to cast a line but also places to observe birds, look for the tracks of animals that have come to drink or hunt, or listen for frog calls. There are trails through the woods that allow a chance to explore more of the heart of the Refuge. During certain times of the year there are opportunities for hunting white-tailed deer and turkeys with a required special permit. From spring through fall the prairie areas are busy with pollinators and birds and perhaps if you are lucky the chance to see our state reptile, a box turtle. Coming summer of 2022 a new paved ADA accessible Nature Trail will be available at the Headquarters area giving visitors the chance to explore a little bit of what the Refuge has to offer.