Fort Lyon area
Aliases: Van's Grove, Wood Thrush Grove, Fort Lyon Wildlife Easement
Starting just east of the tiny town of Fort Lyon is the enormous Fort Lyon Wildlife Easement, a large tract of lowland riparian habitat. This is an exceptionally good spot for migrant, and Barn and Western Screech-Owls breed here. Starting at the corner of CRs HH and 16 are the John Martin Marshes, an amazingly large area of cattails spreading from here at least a couple of miles to the east, and measuring a couple of miles wide in some places. The most famous resident of this marsh is Black Rail, of which one can often hear 15 or 20 along CR 16 on a night in May. Other species usually heard at the marsh include Marsh Wren, Virginia Rail, Sora, and American Bittern. Finally, along CR JJ east of CR 16 there are some more cattail marshes, with the same residents.
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt, Grassland/Prairie, Tamarisk
Directions: To get to the Fort Lyon area, head east from Las Animas on US 50 about five miles and turn south on CO 183. One mile south, turn left onto CR HH to get to the Fort Lyon Wildlife Easement. For more specific directions, see the above text.
Delorme: 99 D5
Roads of Colorado: 125 D3
Dates of Access: Open all year
Restrictions: Do not trespass on private property off of CR JJ
Lodging: Hotel in Las Animas
Handicapped Access: Some viewing from car
Area CPW Office: Lamar, (719) 336-6600