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Taking in Nature at the Erie National Wildlife Refuge: Crawford County

Today we continue our tour through Crawford County and visit the beautiful Erie National Wildlife Refuge. This 8,077 acre preserve is a beautiful place to take in nature. The place has some great wetlands, observation points, hiking, and wildlife, namely birds.
Where there are not wetlands in the refuge, there are woods and meadows. 
There are wildflowers all over the place

There are also a number of observation platforms that are elevated and give you a chance to take in some wildlife action.
In this spot you will see many swallows and other little birds dipping in and out of wetland's greenery.
A nice little grove of birches.
The refuge has been labeled as an "Important Bird Area" by the Audubon Society. 
The wetlands are spectacular to take in. In this spot, there is a handicap accessible observation platform that enables you to get a stunning vista over the wetlands.
Lilly Pads!
The observation platform!
This bird took it upon herself to be the traffic controller for the day.
An observation blind. These enable you to take in the birds with minimal disruption so you do not spook the birds.
There is a short hike to the observation blind that goes through beautiful mature forest. There is nothing like stepping into the woods on a warm day.
I was most impressed by this giant tree.

The birds decided that the shelter made to observe them would be better to protect them instead :-). This robin nest had lots of babies in it. Shhhhh though, we don't want to inform any predator birds of this location! This must be a hotspot for them, because a number of the hemlocks around the shelter also had robins nests in them as well.
The view out of the observation blind. At this point the mama bird had returned and was chirping at me to get away, so I had to make my exit.

The Erie National Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful place to spend some time away in nature. It is quiet, well developed, and in my opinion, one of the jewels of Crawford County. Be sure to check this out the next time that you are in Crawford County.

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