Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Great Falls, Montana

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Benton Lake is an amazing wetland surrounded by gentle hills of shortgrass prairie, and acts as a magnet for birdlife. Because the marsh is a natural prairie pothole, water levels are dependent on meltwater from the winter snowpack. During most years, additional water is pumped to this area by way of the Greenfields Irrigation Project. Drought years can have a significant effect on bird populations here. Benton Lake and Fort Benton were named in honor of Senator Thomas Benton of Missouri. The senator was instrumental in promoting western expansion and development during the late 1800s. In the 1860s, Lt. John Mullan established the first wagon road in the region. The Mullan Road stretched from Fort Benton on the Missouri River in Montana to Walla Walla on the Columbia River in Washington. The Mullan Road once passed through the Benton Lake area. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful general information.
Birding Montana

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Birding Montana

by Terry McEneaney (Falcon Guides)

Benton Lake is an amazing wetland surrounded by gentle hills of shortgrass prairie, and acts as a magnet for birdlife. Because the marsh is a natural prairie pothole, water levels are dependent on meltwater from the winter snowpack. During most years, additional water is pumped to this area by way of the Greenfields Irrigation Project. Drought years can have a significant effect on bird populations here.

Benton Lake and Fort Benton were named in honor of Senator Thomas Benton of Missouri. The senator was instrumental in promoting western expansion and development during the late 1800s. In the 1860s, Lt. John Mullan established the first wagon road in the region. The Mullan Road stretched from Fort Benton on the Missouri River in Montana to Walla Walla on the Columbia River in Washington. The Mullan Road once passed through the Benton Lake area. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, and helpful general information.

©  Terry McEneaney/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Great Falls
Trail Type: Several options
Duration: 1 day
Best Times: Best spring, summer; May, June, September
Local Maps: Montana Highway Map
Driving Directions: Directions to Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge

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Apr 2018