Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Montana

(406) 727-7400

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, covering 13 square miles, is an oasis of native grasslands and wetlands lying within a sea of agriculture. Come visit the Prairie Marsh Wildlife Drive, a winding gravel road that will bring you in close contact with wildlife and their habitats. Success in seeing wildlife depends on observations skills, timing, the season, and just plain luck. The timing of your visit makes a difference; wildlife is most active in early morning or late afternoon. If you happen to visit during the spring and fall months, you will enjoy watching thousands of ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds that have stopped here during their migration. Listen to the call of the wild from the photo/observation blind on the north end of Unit 1. Sit virtually unseen and watch the shorebirds and waterfowl forage for food or fly directly overhead. The blind, an Eagle Scout project, provides year-round viewing opportunities and is furnished with two chairs and an observation log. Take your time and enjoy the sights and sounds of your National Wildlife Refuge. Waterfowl and upland game bird hunting is permitted on the Refuge in designated hunting areas starting with the opening of state waterfowl season.

Map of Benton Lake NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 47.665156, -111.282921

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Activities

  • Boating

    Non-motorized boats are allowed only during hunting season only in hunting areas.

  • Bicycling

    Enjoy bicycling on the Prairie Marsh Wildlife Drive year-round, weather permitting. Bicycling is also allowed on Lower Marsh Road from July 15 until the opening of waterfowl hunting season.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Come visit the Prairie Marsh Wildlife Drive, a winding gravel road that will bring you in close contact with wildlife and their habitats. The road is nine miles long and is open year-round during daylight hours. Success in seeing wildlife depends on observations skills, timing, the season, and just plain luck. The timing of your visit makes a difference; wildlife is most active in early morning or late afternoon. If you happen to visit during the spring and fall months, you will enjoy watching thousands of ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds that have stopped here during their migration.

  • Hiking

    Enjoy hiking on the Prairie Marsh Wildlife Drive year-round, weather permitting. Hiking is also allowed on Lower Marsh Road from July 15 until the opening of waterfowl hunting season.

  • Hunting

    Hunting ducks, geese, coots, mergansers, tundra swans, gray partridge, ring-necked pheasants, and sharp-tailed grouse is permitted on the Refuge.

  • Winter Sports

    The entire Refuge is open to cross-country skiing from December 15 to February 28.

Directions

Driving

To get to the Refuge, follow Highway 87 (Havre Highway) north out of Great Falls for about a mile and turn left onto Bootlegger Trail. Go about 9 miles to the well-marked Refuge entrance on the left.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(406) 727-7400

Links