Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado

Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge is located within the city limits of Arvada. The primary mission of Two Ponds NWR is to preserve and protect a small area of extreme housing-developer interest in the Denver Metro area for the use of migrating wildfowl, fish, invertebrates and other animals that have survived the onslaught of humans in this rapidly growing area. As part of that mission, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is working to restore and enhance this diverse habitat of uplands and wetlands and to provide opportunities for environmental education emphasizing the value of wildlife and wetlands in an otherwise urban setting. This 72-acre sanctuary supports more than 100 species of birds alone. You'll also find red fox, mule deer, bullfrogs, leopard frogs, painted and snapping turtles, raccoon, muskrat and beaver.

The habitat is primarily open ponds fringed by wetlands with stands of cattails bordered by plains cottonwood and sandbar willow. The upland areas are dominated by native grasses with alfalfa, yucca and rabbitbrush found in some areas.

There are two different areas of use at Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge. The open area offers 2 miles of trails and is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. There is an interpretive kiosk with trail maps and info about the habitat and wildlife viewing opportunities available. The other area requires reservations in order for you to access the wetland trails and the environmental education area. The NWR is closed on all Federal holidays and there are no fees involved.