The Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1967 to provide waterfowl a place to nest and reproduce. It lies just south of Walden, accessible from Highway 125.
National Wildlife Refuge near Walden
There are at least two worthwhile areas to visit in the Arapaho NWR. Heading south from Walden, the first one passed is the Wildlife Auto Tour Route. The second is the Wetland Nature Trail which is a few miles down Highway 125.
Activities in Arapaho NWR
Fishing – Permitted in the Illinois River which crosses the Wetland Nature Trail, unless otherwise marked. Fishing is closed from June 1 through July 31 annually to protect nesting waterfowl. Native fish include the White Sucker, Johnny Darter and Longnose Dace. Non-native fish include Brown and Rainbow Trout.
Hiking – The Wetland Nature Trail is a beautiful and short trek around the wetlands and meadows of North Park. The majority of the trail is on a boardwalk raised above the streams and marshes. Listen and watch carefully for wildlife. Birds, small mammals and the occasional moose sighting are common. Moose are usually spotted at the southern end of the nature trail around sunset. Trail is closed from winter through early Spring.
Hunting – Permitted in certain sections of the park, see map. Sage Grouse, Duck, Coot, Merganser, Canada Goose, Snipe, Rail, Dove, Pronghorn, Elk, Cottontail, Jackrabbit, Waterfowl.
Scenic Drive – The Wildlife Auto Tour Route is a 6 mile loop on a well maintained dirt road. Drive slow for a chance to spot wildlife. The route takes you through meadows and marshes in a wide mountain valley. Closed during winter.
Address: 53 Jackson County Rd 32, Walden
Season: Year round