MUSCATATUCK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE HIKING TRAILS
NOTE: To find the name of a trail on this map, please move the cursor of your mouse onto the trail line. Left click. The name and length of the trail will show in a balloon.
Located just two miles east of Exit 50 on Interstate 65, near Seymour , Indiana , this 7800 acres of open lands is administered by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, part of the Department of Interior.
With the exception of two trails, these paths are one mile or less; however, there are eight of them, totaling just under eleven miles. They afford views of large lakes, dense woods, meadows, and a great variety of wildlife as well. The trails are mostly for hiking, but there is also an interpretive auto tour that bicyclists can use, as well as the main road that winds through the refuge.
Keep in mind that the greater part of the roads are gravel, and they can be dusty, though traffic does not go fast. Much of this area is wetland, and ticks and deer flies, along with other no-see-ums may be about, so a hat, long-sleeved shirt, and long pants are helpful. Before starting out, get a map and regulations at the Visitor Center , which is located a short way into the property, off the U. S. Highway 50 main entrance.
Another reminder, hunting is allowed in the latter part of the year. Watch for posted notices. If you get a map, you will also see that restrooms are available in various locations.
Chestnut Ridge Trail (0.4)—Starts near the Visitor Center ; accessible; partly boardwalk, benches available. This trail winds through the dense woods and passes by a small lake where wood ducks and turtles are sometimes visible.
Richart Lake Trail (0.9)— Richart Lake is one of the larger lakes on the refuge. If you bear left from the parking lot, you start out with meadows, and a field, or edge that is rapidly growing to forest again. The right-hand way goes through the woods first. There is an observation structure overlooking the lake, about half-way along the trail, from which you can see lake visitors such as cormorants, herons, ducks, and geese.
Endicott Trail (0.2)—Found along the auto tour, this is a short trail, but there is also an overlook area here at one of the many lakes on the refuge. Meadow, marsh and woods habitat.
Bird Trail (0.7)—Hardwood forest with cedars mixed in. Songbirds, woodpeckers, red-winged blackbirds are abundant.
Turkey Trail (1 mile)—To the left of the auto tour route, this trail joins up with the Bird Trail, if desired. Wooded wetlands, wood duck territory, as well as turkeys. If you see small birds running across the trail that don’t look at all familiar, they may be baby turkeys!
Wood Duck Trail (0.5)—Dense woods of very large beech and other hardwoods. While here, you may want to walk down the auto road to see Stanfield Lake , some 100 acres, which is gorgeous in fall, with color in the trees reflected in the water, too.
East River Trail (3)—is located at the far south end of the refuge. Parking is at the Persimmon Ponds lot, which has a bit of a hike itself to these two small lakes. The East River Trail, however, leads off of the main road; there is a gate across it usually, but follow the old farm road through dense forest. Eventually, the East Trail goes off to the left, and loops around, past an old cemetery and there is a spur to a small lake near the Muscatatuck River . Wildflowers in fall, open meadow, songbirds.
West River Trail (4)—starts out the same way as the East Trail, but branches to the right, before the East Trail intersection. The West Trail follows more of the river than the East Trail. Spring wildflowers, and an old cabin are along this route. The sign for this trail, where it splits from the old farm road, may be down or being replaced, but follow the map, which is not complicated.
MORE TIDBITS . . .
Other items to remember: the refuge is open sunrise to sunset, year round. The Visitor Center also has exhibits, book shop, a bird observation room, and a sign-in book to tell what you saw there.
The size-able town of Seymour is two miles west of the refuge, with shops, restaurants, and motels.