“The longest trail at Missisquoi NWR, this route follows along the river, providing a great spot to see birds.”
— Katie Leuenberger
Closed April to July for nesting birds.
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Wildlife
Family Friendly: With a flat and well-maintained trail, this is the perfect place to introduce youngsters to the outdoors.
The Jeep Trail begins at Mac’s Bend, about a mile past the gate. Note that the gate is normally locked except during duck hunting season in the fall. Also, be aware that the Jeep Trail itself is closed from the beginning of April to the end of July to protect nesting Ospreys from disturbance. However, you can access the gravel road from the gate to Mac’s Bend any time. Ospreys and Black Terns are often seen along this section of the river, and in recent years Bald Eagles have become more frequent.
The Jeep Trail begins at the far end of the Mac’s Bend parking lot, about a mile down the gravel road from the gate. The trail follows a narrow strip of floodplain forest along the west bank of the Missisquoi River. The first mile or so of trail is mowed several times a year, but beyond that point, the trail can be very wet and indistinct.
In a very dry year or in winter, it should be possible to hike all the way out to Missisquoi Bay. In late summer, Ospreys, ducks, and shore birds, such as Yellowlegs, are typical. In February, the refuge usually offers one or more Owl Prowls, where Great Horned Owls can often be heard in this area.