Hike Distance: 5.9 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 687.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 223 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 90294 feet
This is such a beautiful Wildlife Refuge and I wish I could walk around it all year long. However, every winter season a large portion of it is closed to walking due to migrating waterfowl that winter in this area. There is a nice driving loop around this refuge, and, you can drive around it all year long because evidently vehicles don’t disturb the birds. Along this loop drive resides a beautiful hiking path called the Kiwa Trail. The trail is about 1.5 miles long and is a nice loop that goes through a few ecosystems. So, every year the ban on hiking the road and trail is lifted on May 1! My plan was to be there on the opening day.
Although it was mostly cloudy, the weather was still very cooperative with no rain. I always walk against the traffic flow so that I’m visible, and there’s no surprise when a vehicle gets close to me. There was plenty of water in the marshes along the entire road and trail system but most of the waterfowl has flown north for the summer. It was fortunate that there were few mosquitoes during my hike. The photo taking opportunities were numerous for me as I love the wetlands terrain!
It’s always interesting when walking the road as many of the people in cars stop to talk. Some think I work for the Wildlife Refuge and some think I have some vast knowledge of birds (which sadly I don’t). I love the birds haven’t gotten into the hobby yet. I also had a group of people ask me about deer in the refuge. I mentioned an area where I’ve seen deer before but they didn’t see any there. It was fortunate for me that I did see these deer again on my way back!:) One woman driving a car gave me a dirty look and made a smug remark about people walking and scaring the deer off the road. First of all I was quite silent and stopped and just watched the deer. The deer didn’t run from me and just wanted to cross the road for some new grass and shade. I actually was able to take pictures of the deer while they stood there eating. These deer are actually acclimated to people in this area. It’s sad to think that people driving through a refuge want this to be like a zoo, where they can stop and view the animals. They should try getting out of their cars and getting some exercise and immersing themselves in the environment, away from their vehicles. Sorry but I had to get that off my chest.
A wonderful day in such a natural and gorgeous place. I highly recommend the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge! 🙂