|Valentine National Wildlife Refuge|
In the heart of the dry, rolling dunes of the sandhills prairie, Valentine National Wildlife Refuge is a oasis, mixing lakes, marshes, and grasslands.
Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge
|Description: As with other sites in the Niobrara River Valley corridor, Fort Niobrara NWR is a place where different ecosystems meet. The sited offers excellent wildlife and habitat diversity, combining pine forest, eastern deciduous forest, boreal (northern) forest, sandhills prairie, and mixed-grass prairies.|
Wildlife to Watch: In addition to the many species of birds that can be viewed here, Fort Niobrara offers a year-round opportunity to see prairie dogs and enclosed herds of bison, elk, and white-tailed and mule deer. The refuge also maintains a herd of Texas longhorn cattle. Blinds are set up for viewing turkeys in the spring.
Special Tips: Go to the visitor center (open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday) for information explaining the history and ecology of the site, and for bird lists, trail maps, and brochures. The refuge is open during daylight hours.
Other Activities: A wildlife drive provides a good introduction to the diversity of plants and wildlife found on the refuge. Buffalo, elk, and deer can often be viewed as you drive through the prairie. In the prairie dog town you can watch these rodents and you may spot burrowing owls that nest in the town during the summer. The Fort Falls hiking trail is a good start to birding on the refuge.
Ownership: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Size: 19,122 acres
Closest Town: Valentine
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: