Marais des Cygnes NWR is located 39 miles south of the Kansas City metropolitan area along U.S. Highway 69. At the intersection of U.S. Highway 69 and Kansas Highway 52, travel east 1 1/4 mile. The Refuge office is located on the south side of Kansas Highway 52.
BOATING, FISHING, HIKING, HUNTING, WILDLIFE VIEWING, PHOTOGRAPHY, PADDLING
Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located 39 miles south of the Kansas City metropolitan area. The 7,500-acre Refuge was established in 1992 to protect one of the most northwestern areas of bottomland hardwood forest in the United States as well as the largest contiguous tract of bottomland hardwood forest in Kansas. The Refuge is named after the Marais des Cygnes River which runs through the middle of the Refuge and is the dominant natural feature of the region. The term “marais des cygnes” comes from the French language and means “marsh of the swans.” It is presumed that trumpeter swans, which were historically common in the Midwest, used the wetlands adjacent to the Marais des Cygnes River during spring and fall migration. The Refuge offers visitors the chance to view bottomland hardwood forest and tallgrass prairie. Both of these plant communities are rare in North America today. Bottomland hardwood forest has been reduced by 80 percent nationally since Euro-American settlement, and tallgrass prairie has been reduced by 99 percent.