Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge
Aliases: Croke Canal, Farmer's Highline Canal, Church Ditch
One of the smallest and most urban refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System, Two Ponds is split up into two parts: the Environmental Education Zone and the Prairie Management Zone. The Environmental Education Zone, which is located east of Croke Canal, is only open May to September. In the Environmental Education Zone, the namesake ponds are too small to have much draw for waterfowl, but they do make the surrounding woodland much more attractive to migrants and breeding species. In this area you will also find a gazebo, amphitheater, shelters and viewing blinds. The Prairie Management Zone, which is located west of Farmers Highline Canal, is open year round from dawn to dusk. The Prairie Management Area is criss-crossed by three irrigation canals which all have mature trees along at least part of their length. There are walking trails with good access along each canal. At both parts of the refuge look for breeders like Warbling Vireo, Western Wood-Pewee, and Cooper’s Hawk. In the prairie areas, Swainson’s Hawk, Loggerhead Shrike, Savannah Sparrow, and others could be found. During migration you never know what might show up! Note that dogs are not allowed at the refuge.
Directions: Two Ponds is located between two major highways, I-70 and US 36. From I-70, exit at Wadsworth Blvd. and go north to W. 72nd Ave. Go west on 72nd Ave. to Kipling Street. Go north on Kipling St., as parking for the Prairie Management Area is at the south end of the medical center parking lot on the southeast corner of West 80th and Kipling. From US 36, exit at Sheridan Blvd. Go south on Sheridan for about one mile to W. 80th Ave. Go west on 80th Ave. and in a little over a mile and a half you will see a sign on the south side of the street for Two Ponds NWR; this is the parking lot for the Environmental Education Zone.
Dates of Access: Prairie Management Zone is open year round from dawn to dusk. The Environment Education Zone is open from May to September dawn to dusk, and is closed from October to April
Hours: West Side: Daylight hours; East Side: T-F, 8-4, Sat, 8-7
Restrictions: Dogs are not allowed at this Wildlife Refuge. Please follow all rules and regulations
Lodging: Hotels in Denver and nearby suburbs
Handicapped Access: Most facilities and some trails handicap accessible
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