f you could see Nebraska through my eyes, you'd see a vast landscape full of diverse wildlife and delightful sights and sounds. Deep in the sandhills of Western Nebraska is a true gem guarded by a pair of one-lane roads that aren’t for the faint of heart. Those that have the fortune of a little ground clearance on their vehicles will be rewarded with the Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
I had never been to Crescent Lake NWR before this visit. I’ve driven past the turnoffs on both Hwy 26 and Hwy 2 many times on my way to Western Nebraska. I finally took the plunge this time and drove down the deceptively long, bumpy, single-lane road.*
I was finally greeted (with great relief) by the Crescent Lake NWR sign and a kiosk with some info about the refuge. I found a pamphlet containing the instructions to a self-guided auto tour of the park. The tour takes you through the refuge’s vast 49,849 acres of sandhill lakes and prairies.
Other than the occasional Aermotor Windmill tirelessly pumping fresh water from the Ogallala Aquifer into stock tanks, the refuge looks untouched. The lakes that spot the refuge are actually groundwater seeping up through low spots, creating important wetlands for migratory birds and other native species.
This site is a true hidden gem and an absolute must for any ecotourist wanting something with a little adventure. I urge you to take the turn if you’re driving by and spend a day at Crescent Lake NWR.
My name is Alex and this is Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge through my eyes.