Twelve miles north of Great Falls sits the Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Youtube//Josh Rutledge Photography
Youtube//Josh Rutledge Photography
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What Is Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge?

From Visit Montana,  it's a 5,000 acre shallow wetland on the edge of the northern Great Plains.

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge Is A Haven For Water Birds

During migration, you could see ducks, Canadian geese, Snow geese, Tundra swans and other shorebirds.  In the spring and fall Bald eagles are common.  If you visit at just the right time, you may even spot a prairie falcon, peregrine falcon and even a golden eagle.

At different times since 1961, more than 199 species of birds have been spotted in the refuge.  A few to note, trumpeter swan, Osprey, Cooper's hawk, mourning dove, downy owl, burrowing owl, along with swallows, chickadees, finches, heron, pelicans and more.

What Other Wildlife Can Be Seen?

There are 28 different kinds of mammals like mountain cottontail, American badger, skunks, raccoons, long-tailed weasels, coyote, and even some deer.

Youtube//Josh Rutledge Photography
Youtube//Josh Rutledge Photography

Can You Fish In Benton Lake?

There isn't an actual lake in the wildlife refuge.  Not like what we're thinking of, anyway.  It's more marshland than lake, so it's too shallow for fish to live and thrive.

When Can I Visit?

The visitor center is open 8-4 Monday through Friday.  Closed on national holidays.  In the winter, there are auto tours available, weather permitting.  For more information, click this link.

How Do I Get To Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge?

Head north on Bootlegger trail for just over Nine miles then turn left on the gravel refuge entrance road.

Here's A Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge Sneak-Peek

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

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