Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a 10,795-acre National Wildlife Refuge established in 1937 and located in Chariton County, two miles south of the town of Sumner. It is located near the confluence of the Grand and Missouri rivers. There are many things for visitors to see and do at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
Wildlife observation is the most popular activity, especially driving through the refuge in the evenings. The arrival of waterfowl and other birds combined with the fall colors make autumn the most popular time to visit. The bird list at Swan Lake includes 241 different species, making the refuge one of the best areas in central Missouri to observe these creatures in their natural habitat.
Many people visit Swan Lake to see the large numbers of ducks, coots, and geese that make the refuge their home during the fall, winter, and spring. Additionally, Swan Lake remains one of the best places to observe bald eagles in the state of Missouri, with the refuge population often peaking near 100 during the winter months.
People enjoy stopping at the Visitor Center throughout the year. Here, you may view videos, ask questions, and look at exhibits. You may also enjoy hiking the nature trail, photographing wildlife, or collecting nuts, berries, or deer sheds. Other popular activities include hunting (deer and geese) and fishing.
The refuge is open during daylight hours only. The interior of the refuge is closed from early November to early March, though the visitor center and entrance road are open year-round.