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More Updates On Seney Wildlife National Refuge Projects

Seney National Wildlife Refuge – Seney, MI – 

In 2021, Seney National Wildlife Refuge was fortunate enough to receive over $15 million in funding through the Great American Outdoor Act and the Federal Lands Transportation Program.  

Funding is contributing to several big infrastructure projects: 

  1. Bridge and Water Control Structure Repairs  

  2. New combined Visitor Center and Headquarters Building 

  1. Reconfigured parking lots and resurfacing the Refuge Entrance Road 

  2. Show Pool Site Rehabilitation and Improvements 

  3. Pine Ridge Nature Trail Improvement Project 

  4. Decommissioning the historic Delta Creek Dike. 

Additionally, funding from the Federal Lands Access Program was awarded to refuge partners for improvements to the parking lot at Whitefish Point in Paradise, Michigan. All funded projects will consolidate and modernize public facilities and improve recreational access.

What Is Available This Year

River Road Visitor Center 
  • View exhibits, ask questions, use restrooms. 

  • Watch for wildlife. The habitat includes field, hardwood forest and river. 

  • Hike the 1-mile nature trail during open VC hours, this trail may not be appropriate for all guests. It winds through a field and woods with several short but steep changes in elevation. Areas of the trail run next to steep drop offs to a river providing interesting views. It is a narrow dirt path. 

Auto Tours 
  • Drive the 7-mile Marshland Wildlife Drive or 8.5-mile Fishing Loop. 

  • Fish, check the fishing brochure for specific dates, regulations and the pools that are open. 

  • Get out and take a hike or bike ride. There are gates near H Pool, the Fishing Pier, and the Loon Deck. You may park your car (please do not block the gate) and walk or bike behind the gates. Just watch for closed signs so that you do not venture into the construction zone. 

Driggs River Road access area: 
  • Watch for wildlife, habitat at this location includes early successional forest, open field, ditch and pool system 

  • Hike or bike the roads 

  • Fish C-3 Pool 

Northern Hardwoods access area: 
  • Watch for wildlife. The habitat at this location includes early hardwood forest, open field, pool system 

  • Hike or bike the roads 

  • Hike the trails 

Show Pool Shelter: 
  • Watch for wildlife. The habitat at this location includes early hardwood forest, open field, and shrublands 

  • Hike the South Show Pool Loop 

  • Access the open portion of the Pine Ridge Nature Trail 

 Manistique River: 
  • Watch for wildlife. The habitat at this location includes mixed forest types, pine and hardwood, and the river 

  • Canoe or kayak the 4-hour float through the refuge 

  • Go fishing 

Whitefish Point Unit: 
  • Watch for wildlife. The habitat at this location includes Lake Superior beach and forested dunes 

  • Hike the boardwalk 

Bridge and Water Control Structure Repairs  

The bridge and water control structure repairs that closed down the Marshland Wildlife Drive and Fishing Loop in 2022 are complete. We were able to open the wildlife drives on May 15, the date we normally open annually.   

Although the drives re-opened this summer the restrooms and parking lot near the entrance to the drive will be closed during the construction. We are asking our visitors to keep this in mind during their visit. Visitors who normally park and bike or drop trailers in preparation to take the drive will need to do some advanced planning. The drives have narrow winding roads and are not appropriate for all vehicles. Please see the website for more details.

New combined Visitor Center and Headquarters building  

Contractors are on sight and have begun work building a new combined visitor center and office building.

render-of-new-visitor-center
Rendering Of The Future Visitor Center

The combined building will replace the old office and visitor center that have been demolished to make room for the new facility. The new building will be located on the site of the old visitor center. The after-hours restrooms and the picnic shelter near the fire tower, the parking lots and portions of the Pine Ridge Nature Trail are closed because they are part of the construction site. 

To accommodate our visitors, we invite you to visit us at our temporary visitor center and office located on River Road. There you will be able to find additional information and use restrooms.

Temporary Visitor Center/Office 
Tempvisitorcenter
The Temporary Seney Visitor Center

River Road Quarters is usually home to our temporary summer staff. We have repurposed the building to serve as our temporary visitor center and office. 

Location 

1986 Manistique River Road/County Road 436. About 6 miles south of the Refuge Entrance Road 

Open Hours 

Oct. 21 to May 14 – By Appointment – Staff may be in the office or in the field. 

May 15 to Oct. 20 – Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m 4:00 p.m. 

Mondays, May 15 to Oct. 20 – By Appointment – Staff may be in the office or in the field.

Reconfigured parking lots and resurfacing the Refuge Entrance Road 

The new visitor center and headquarters building will require the parking lots in the vicinity to be reconfigured and resurfaced. The new configuration will take into account an after-hours visitor facility with easy access to the Pine Ridge Nature Trail, restrooms with running water, and a picnic area. The new parking lots provide large RVs and busses with space to park and turn around. 

The one-mile Refuge Entrance Road will be resurfaced and widened slightly as the project is completed.  

Show Pool Site Rehabilitation and Improvements 

Last summer a new outhouse and improvements to the parking area were complete. Additional improvements to the site are in the planning process and construction is not yet complete. This site may be closed for a few weeks in order to complete these changes. As we are still in the planning phase the dates of closure have not been set. 

Pine Ridge Nature Trail Improvement Project 

pine-ridge-nature-trail
Portions of the Pine Ridge Nature Trail that will be open intermittently. 

 

Portions of the Pine Ridge Nature Trail will be closed during construction. Improvements to the trail remain in the planning and permitting stage of work.  

Delta Creek Dike Decommissioning 

This historic dike was put in place by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Works Progress Administration (WPAand refuge staff in the late 1930s. We are planning to decommission this dike and allow the area to revert back to a wetland. The area will be evaluated to determine the best way to move forward. 

Whitefish Point Parking Lot 

Seney National Wildlife Refuge manages 53-acres at Whitefish Point north of Paradise, MichiganVisitors to the site use the parking lot shared by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society Museum, the Michigan Audubon Society and the refuge. The three organizations work collaboratively in managing the site, including many years developing plans for the parking lot and reconstruction of an Assistant Keeper’s Quarters. This spring the work to resurface and alter the parking lots on site will be completed. The work started mid-May. The funding to pay for this project was provided by a Federal Land Access Program grant received by the Shipwreck Museum. 

Stay up to date on our progress and current closures 

Closed areas are subject to change. We will re-open areas as quickly as we can. As projects progress over the season, and the next few years, other adaptations will have to be made: 

  • the Show Pool Shelter – alongside M77- will be closed for work on the picnic structure sometime during the 2023 summer season. 

  • the Pine Ridge Nature Trail is partially closed. 

  • the parking lots, restrooms, and picnic area on the Refuge Entrance Road are closed for the season. 

Keep an eye on the website for project details and closures www.fws.gov/refuge/seney 

Questions? 

Come see us at the temporary visitor center or call 906-586-9851 during office/visitor center hours. 

You can also contact Sara Siekierski – Refuge Manager at Sara_Siekierski@fws.gov or send an email to the general email box at seney@fws.gov. 

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