The auto tour road at Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge will be open each Friday from August 5 through September 9. Refuge visitors can drive the 5.5 mile, self–guided road anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Refuge staff and Friends of Port Louisa NWR will be at the gate from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. to welcome visitors. In addition, refuge biologists will be at the Fox Pond observation deck from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on August 19 and September 9 to discuss refuge wetland management and the fall waterfowl habitat outlook. This is a great time for duck hunters to preview the migration habitat for the upcoming waterfowl hunting season. The auto tour is a one-way gravel loop road that winds through wetland and grassland areas on the refuge. Most of the area is managed with water level and soil manipulations to promote vegetation growth that provides food for migrating waterfowl in the fall.
Visitors may see herons, egrets, eagles, deer, turkeys, songbirds, turtles, and waterfowl. Bring binoculars and a camera to view and photograph wildflowers, wildlife, and scenery. Additionally, at the half-way point near Fox Pond, there is an overlook with a spotting scope. The auto tour road is also open to walking and biking during daylight hours anytime from January 1 until September 15. The area closes from September 15 to January 1 to provide sanctuary for migrating waterfowl.
The auto tour begins at the inlet water control structure on the Louisa Division of Port Louisa NWR located 6 miles northeast of Wapello, Iowa. Getting there: follow County Road X61 to 120th Street and then travel east on 120th Street for approximately 2 miles. Enter by driving onto the levee and through the gate. Signs will direct visitors. For more information call 319.523.6982.
Learn more about Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/port_louisa/
Checkout the latest wildlife sightings and activities: https://www.facebook.com/PortLouisaNWR/
Learn about Friends of Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge: www.portlouisafriends.org
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.