Stop 15: Black Kettle Recreation Area

Directions: Go 9 miles north of Cheyenne on US 283. Recreation area is on the left.

The scenic, relaxing, and isolated recreation area has a full complement of facilities and a picnic area. The wooded lakeshore, weedy margins, and plethora of snags at the back of the lake provide excellent habitat for wintering and migratory waterfowl. Gadwall, American Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, the occasional Cinnamon Teal, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Merganser, and Common Merganser all occur here. Walk the trail from the parking area and look for Red-headed Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Field Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Osprey, butterflies that include Monarch (fall), Gray Hairstreak, a variety of sulphurs, and dragonflies that include clubtails, meadowhawks, and damselflies such as Comanche Dancer and Familiar Bluet. The combination of hackberry, cottonwood, and shiny sumac along the trail make for a peaceful and pleasant walk. Photographic opportunities here are excellent, particularly at sunrise and sunset. Red-tailed Hawk, Loggerhead Shrike, American Kestrel, and Swainson's Hawk should also be looked for.

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black kettle grassland