Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge - Illinois Scenic Byway - Hennepin, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 41° 12.973 W 089° 19.292
16T E 305387 N 4565358
Quick Description: The sweeping wet prairie panoramic view at the Wes and Sue Dixon Waterfowl Refuge epitomizes the reason why the the Illinois River Scenic Byway was created - to show the beauty of the great Illinois River.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 10/31/2013 7:26:38 PM
Waymark Code: WMJCXG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Bernd das Brot Team
Views: 2

Long Description:
Near Hennepin, near IL Route 29, is the Wes and Sue Dixon Waterfowl Refuge.

The refuge is located on the west side of Route 29 and a few miles south of the village of Hennepin. To get there from Hennepin, travel south on Route 29 to a small road splitting to the right at a brown sign for the refuge. Follow the road to another split and bear right to the entrance to the refuge and the parking lot beyond.

From the parking lot, you have a choice to either head to the nearby 30 ft tower for a panoramic view of a prairie wetland, or a short linear path that takes you along the edge of the wetland and shallow lake. Either way has beautiful views where you can see tall grass with flowers of red, orange, yellow and white, and see animals such as great blue herons, hummingbirds, and falcons/hawks.

This lake appears to be a well preserved natural backwater lake. But, that is not entirely right. It is actually a restored lake. For many years, the area had been drained and crops were grown there. More recently, the drainage pumps were turned off and the restoration began. By 2004, the area was open to the public and since 2012 it is a Wetland of International Importance.

The web site for the Illinois River Scenic Byway has the following abou the route:

"The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway preserves the natural river country along the banks of the Illinois River, so visitors can travel the same route as early French explorers. Get close to nature and see just what the Illinois River Road has in store for you. Whether hiking the bluff trails, biking our historic canal towpaths, wetting a fishing line or canoeing in one of the beautifully restored wetlands, or simply enjoying serene wildlife habitats, you'll be immersed in the rich history and beauty of the Illinois River Valley."

This refuge epitomizes what the Illinois River Scenic Byway is all about.

Scenic Byway Site (Dixon Waterfowl Refuge):
(visit link)
Program: America's Byways

Website: [Web Link]

Official Name: Wes and Sue Dixon Waterfowl Refuge

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