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Natural Kansas

Wyandotte County Lake
Just northwest of Kansas City, Kansas, in a setting of hillside oak-hickory woodlands and lakeside sycamores, is Wyandotte County Lake. Stop first at the Administration Building (where you will be accosted by Canada geese seeking a handout) and pick up a map and checklist. Best viewing sites fo...
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Weston Bend Bottomlands
Description: Lewis and Clark watched wildlife here! Weston Bend, alongside the Missouri River below the limestone bluffs that anchor Fort Leavenworth, is one of the best examples of riparian bottomlands in Kansas. Before the construction of dikes, jetties, and leavees, the Missouri meandered between the east and west bluffs, leaving oxbow lakes and depositing enough fertile soil to produce a paradise of plants and animals. A network of trails from the main levee takes you through woodlands, old croplands, and marshes and along sloughs and ponds.

Wildlife to Watch: In the mature woodlands of cottonwood, sycamore, hackberry, and walnut, listen for pileated woodpeckers hammering holes in dead trees. The tops of some sycamores hold four-feet-wide stick nests of great blue herons. The young riparian woodlands contain immature cottonwood, elm, and ash, as well as elderberries and raspberries. The tender cottonwood shoots and branches provide great browsing for white-tailed deer and beaver. The birdlife of Weston Bend is notable. Towhees, chickadees, woodpeckers, grosbeaks, buntings, warblers, orioles, and vireos are abundant during migrations. Spring rains can turn the bottomlands into an attractive wetland, harboring thousands of migrating waterfowl. Coyotes, foxes, and raccoons take advantage of the bounty.

Special Tips: 

Ownership: U.S. Army 
Size: 5600 acres 
Closest Town: Leavenworth

ParkingPicnic tables

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Great Blue Heron Nests - photo by USFWS
Use link below please

Driving Directions:
In Leavenworth, take Metropolitan Avenue (U.S. 73 to the entrance of Fort Leavenworth at 7th Street. Take Grant for about 1.5 miles to the Disciplinary Barracks. To the right of the barracks is Riverside Drive. Take it about 0.2 miles to Chief Joseph Loop. Cross the railroad tracks and go just past the picnic grounds. The loop, which becomes the levee road from which the trails are found, is one way and will lead you back to Riverside Drive.

For information call (913) 684-3781, or write to the Forestry department, Directorate of Engineering and Housing, Bldg. 85, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027.

Map Link

Weston Bend Bottomlands : Wildlife Viewing Area