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descriptions and directions
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Bent's Old Fort and Oxbow State Wildlife Area
Oxbow State Wildlife Area
The reconstructed Bent's Old Fort along the old Santa Fe Trail is the focus of a National Park. The park preserves a nice area of riverbottom cottonwood forest along the Arkansas as well as some open grassland and the terrific marsh where Black Rail was first found in the state. The rails can be heard from the county road, outside the entrance to the fort. If you want to bird the area in more detail, however, including if you want to access the riparian corridor, you will have to pay the National Park entrance fee.
Adjacent to the fort property to the east, both north and south of the river, is the Oxbow SWA, which contains more acreage of riverbottom habitats. Access to the SWA is from the south side of the river.
Marsh, Grassland/Prairie, Lowland Riparian
From US 50 on the east side of La Junta, head north on CO 109 across the river and turn right to follow CO 194. Bent's Old Fort is on the south side of the road, about six miles from the turnoff. To get to Oxbow State Wildlife Area, take US 50 east from La Junta about seven miles to the turnoff for the SWA on the left (north), just short of the Bent County line.
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eBird Seasonal Bar Chart
Latest Bent's Old Fort and Oxbow State Wildlife Area Sightings from eBird
CBRC Records from Bent's Old Fort and Oxbow State Wildlife Area
5/7/1991 - 5/27/1991
5/12/1995 - 7/16/1995