Erie National Wildlife Refuge is ideal for observing and photographing wildlife. The refuge has been designated an Important Bird Area by National Audubon Society attracting over 230 bird species. It is the only refuge in the nation protecting the endangered northern riffleshell and clubshell mussels.
Erie National Wildlife Refuge consists of two separate land divisions totaling 8,800 acres suitable for bird watching and a variety of outdoor activities. The refuge is named after the Erie Native American tribe. It is 35 miles south of the city of Erie and Lake Erie PA.
The refuge visitor center is in Sugar Lake Division with displays, information brochures and personnel. The information center helps visitors with self-guided activities. Trails are open sunrise to sunset all year round.
The 5,206 acres of Sugar Lake Division is 10 miles east of Meadville with the village of Guy Mill on its western border. Three trails are within its area.
Beaver Run Trail
A 1-mile trail on Hanks Road follows habitat where varied plants and animal life may be observed.
Tsuga Nature Trail
Near the visitor center the 1.6-mile trail has two loops through varied habitats with interpretive signs posted. It is suitable for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in winter.
Deer Run Trail
The 3-mile trail begins at Boland Road with a nearby observation deck equipped with spotting scopes to overlook Pool 9. Cross-country skiing or snowshoeing is welcomed in winter.
Erie National Wildlife Refuge Seneca Division’s 3,594 acres are 10 miles north of the Sugar Lake Division, with 2 trails.
Muddy Creek Holly Trail
Off Johnstown Road this 1-mile trail has a boardwalk for viewing of red berries of the Black alder known as Winterberry holly.
Trolley Line Trail
The 1-¾ mile primitive trail starting from Swamp Road was built upon an old railroad grade.
Erie National Wildlife Refuge
11296 Wood Duck Lane
Guys Mills, PA
Meadville is a city 43 miles south of Erie PA, 93 miles north of Pittsburgh with a population of 13,388. It was the first permanent settlement in northwestern PA named after early settler David Mead. It was a part of the Underground Railroad helping escaped slaves to freedom in the early 19th century. Early economy was driven by agriculture, logging, and iron production. Channellock Corporation, tool and die and machine shops led to Meadville’s nickname as ‘Tool City, USA’.
Cambridge Spring is a municipality populated by 2,363, settled in 1822 was named after Cambridge Massachusetts. Known for its mineral springs led to establishment as a resort town with a variety of hotels.
Erie National Wildlife Refuge is a 3 ½ hour drive of 210 miles from Rochester NY. Drive I-90 west past the Pennsylvania border to Erie then US 79 toward Pittsburgh to Meadville. Then drive route 27 to the refuge.
Everyone needs to find solitude and here is a great place, don’t forget binoculars to get a close look at the wildlife.