Newaygo County
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Birding Newaygo County: Hotspots near Newaygo & White Cloud

 

(A) Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary ★★

Established in 1938 by the Garden Club of Michigan, Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary was created to preserve orchids and other plants native to Michigan. Today, the park features over 150 species of wildflowers, shrubs, and trees. Birders will enjoy walking on a 1.5 mile trail with signposts educating visitors on different types of trees and plants. Many of Michigan’s birds that live in deciduous forests can be seen—Scarlet Tanagers, Red-eyed Vireos, and Eastern Wood-Pewees are all common.

Website: goo.gl/gZ4YBf | Map: Click here
Fees: There is a fee of $5 per visitor.
Directions: Click here

Scarlet TanagerScarlet Tanager

 

(B) Henning County Park ★★

Henning County Park is an 82-acre park positioned next to the Muskegon River, providing birders with an excellent spot to search for Common Goldeneyes and other ducks. The park features 60 modern campsites, hot showers, a swimming beach, clean restrooms, and a hiking trail.

Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

 

(C) Old Rice Lake Mud Flats ★

Positioned in what used to be an old lake bed, the Old Rice Lake Mud Flats are a good spot to search for many kinds of blackbirds and sandpipers.

Directions: Click here

 

(D) Muskegon River Boat Ramp ★

A boat ramp provides a convenient place to check the Muskegon River and the surrounding forest for birds. Wood Ducks, Green Herons, and Mallards are especially common.

Directions: Click here

Wood DuckWood Duck

 

(E) Croton Dam ★

A small parking lot on the east side of Croton Dam provides birders with a place to set up their spotting scopes and scan the open water for birds. Dozens of Red-breasted Mergansers, Mallards, Mute Swans, and Common Goldeneyes can be seen during the winter. The paths leading to the dam are not kept clear of snow. The 1,380-acre Croton Dam Pond was formed by the damming of the Muskegon River.

Directions: Click here

 

(F) Hardy Dam Rustic Nature Trail ★★

Created by the Boy Scouts of America, the Hardy Dam Rustic Nature Trail leads visitors beside a 2.75 mile stretch of the Muskegon River. There is an interpretive brochure available that corresponds to 26 numbered posts. Visitors should keep their eyes open for Pileated Woodpeckers, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Purple Finches, and other types of forest birds. Unfortunately, the river is only partially visible from the thick maple-beech forest surrounding the trail.

Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

Purple FinchPurple Finch

 

(G) Newaygo State Park ★★

Located within the Manistee National Forest, Newaygo State Park is next to Hardy Dam Pond, a large section of the Muskegon River. The heavily wooded park features a rustic campground with 99 sites; each featuring a 20 to 30 foot privacy buffer. The riparian forest is an excellent spot to search for tanagers, vireos, warblers, and other songbirds.

Website: michigan.gov/newaygo | Map: Click here
Fees: Recreation Passport required ($11 resident, $31.10 non-resident)
Directions: Click here