Seney National Wildlife Refuge
Updated: May 7, 2022
Seney National Wildlife Refuge is located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula about one hour and twenty minutes Northwest of the Mackinac Bridge via US 2 and MI 77.
For kids this refuge is all about how parents package the experience. To make Seney fun and engaging plan the following:
bring fishing gear and buy worms before coming into the refuge
bring bicycles and ride when they want to.
give them each a digital camera and send them free to take as many photos as they want
great inexpensive binoculars for wildlife viewing is a must. there is so much to see and distant viewing is as prevalent as what you can see close up.
spend time in the visitor's center.
Take plenty of snacks, treats, and water. Seney is bigger than you would expect and you don't want to cut your time short due to hunger or thirst.
bring plenty of sunscreen and insect repellant
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service website the area now occupied by Seney used to be forested. The area was logged heavily and unable to be repurposed for any other commercial endeavor. In 1935 the 95,000 acres was established as a refuge to the migratory bird's benefit.
Seney is a migratory bird's paradise. Visitors generally only see a small portion of the refuge. Howver, access is plentiful and if you are looking to see waterfowl and other birds your time will be memorable. Seney is the Summer home of loons, geese, ducks, and swans. You will also find Bald Eagle, Beaver, turtles, and Osprey.
Its very easy to get around Seney, when the birds are not in the way.....
The park has a number of pools designated A-J and more. Most of these pools you can drive to via the road system within the park. We took our bicycles and enjoyed a nice ride towards the back of the park. We found many holes in the ground with white pieces strewn about. They were turtle eggs all hatched and removed from the hole. They were quite a mystery until we returned to the visitors center and discussed our find with the staff.
We saw about a handful of beavers It was quite calming watching them work. the would swim in the water and gather sticks for use in their dam. They all seemed alone. We were impressed with the trees they chewed in process of getting them to the ground. Their dams were impressive, too.
Bald Eagle are making their return to Michigan. We have had many sightings by our house this year and were able to spot one at Seney as well. Our sighting came with a little show. The eagle was perched up in a tree overlooking the water. A smaller bird was not happy with the unwelcome visitor. The small bird attacked the Eagle for at least 10 minutes before the eagle got tired of the nuisance and flew away.
We were happy to learn that we could fish in the pools. That was an added bonus for us and gave us a lot of what my kids enjoy. We were told there were pike in the pools and they are an invasive species. Therefore, we could take any pike we caught. we stopped at many of the bridges and also a couple of the fishing piers to fish for 15-30 minutes each time. Alas, the chase is always better than the kill and we didn't catch any pike. We did catch sunfish and perch and released them back into the pools.
The Visitor's center is worth the stop. They have hands on exhibits for the kids and the staff were very helpful and excited to share the refuge with us. Additionally, on the deck of the visitor's center is a viewing area for an osprey nest. This is one of many times we wish we had a better lens.
We went the 2nd half of June
Stayed 4 nights at Northland Outfitters in Germfask
Footnote: The links we provided are to Amazon. We are an amazon affiliate. The digital cameras are a little more expensive than I would like to share. These were special gifts to our kids that are waterproof and durable. Some of the pictures on campbrood.com are taken with these cameras and we don't have to worry about damage. However, we are concerned with losing them.