Protected land open year-round for visitors

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 24, 2002

Many wild creatures enjoy privileges at the St. Catherine National Wildlife Refuge, established by Congress in 1990.

The more than 24,000 acres of protected land in southwest Adams County is one of hundreds of refuges located along the four major bird migration corridors in the United States.

The refuge is open the year around and the public is encouraged to visit. Activities at the refuge include some hunting, in season; fishing, from March 1 to Oct. 31; nature walking and hiking.

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The refuge is open Monday through Friday, sunrise to sunset. The headquarters building is open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Camping and open fires are not permitted. All-terrain vehicles are not allowed.

To get to the refuge, go south to Sibley and turn right on York Road. A large sign directs you to turn just before you reach the store at Sibley. York Road is a county road, sometimes narrow and often curving.

Travel several miles on York Road to the entrance into the refuge at Pintail Road, a left turn if you’re traveling from Sibley.

About a mile inside the refuge is the headquarters building, where you should stop and register and get information related to your activities.

The wildlife refuge has a diverse ecology, filling many needs of birds and other animals living there. There are cypress swamps and forests filled with oak, ash, cottonwood and elm.

Ten percent of the refuge is open water. Some areas are made up of cleared land and land created by the meandering Mississippi River.