Scanning the lake for alligators is an interesting way to enjoy a fall day in Oktibbeha County.
The leaves are just beginning to turn at the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. Rangers said many leaves are turning brown and falling off due to the lack of rain this year, but patches of great fall color can be found throughout the area.
Andrea Dunstan of the Refuge said two of the most popular places to check out fall foliage would the be Dr. Ray Watson Memorial Trail and the Boardwalk at Doyle Arm.
â€śThe color is starting to turn, but it is not at itâ€™s peak,â€ť Dunstan said. â€śThere are patches of foliage that have peaked, but it will be a few weeks before the cypress has turned.â€ť
Even with the lack of rain, thereâ€™s still plenty of Fall to experience at the Refuge. Crunching leaves, great weather and beautiful surroundings make for an ideal outing with the family or friends.
We asked residents to share their thoughts about the Noxubee Refuge and tips for experiencing the Refuge at its best in the fall:
â€śThe Noxubee Wildlife Refuge provides a great outdoor attraction for visitors to Oktibbeha County to experience. Not only is it a large park where outdoor enthusiasts can explore nature and enjoy some quiet time, but it also serves as a feeding area for migratory birds, so it offers a unique experience for bird watchers and nature lovers alike!â€ť
â€” Jennifer Gregory
I love the drive in, the greens, goldenrod, and red orange colors.Â I canâ€™t believe that I live so close to a recreational area that offers so much.Â
â€” Geneene Saunders
I love watching all the birds, and looking for the alligators. It is a great place to take my grandsons. One year they found a snake skin wrapped around a tree trunk. It is the wild place for anyone who wants to venture there.
â€” Donna Stark
I think it is a beautiful place any time of the year. I like to walk out on the trailsÂ that take you where Â you can see most of the lake.Â You have a greatÂ view right there at the office. The exhibits are very informative.Â I took my Grandchildren out there when they were here for a visit. They enjoyed it .
â€” Carole GospodnetichÂ Â
I used to love to ride my bike on the trails. I havenâ€™t gone out there in several years but Iâ€™m thinking about riding out there soon - knee brace and all.Â When out of town guests come to town and ask where they should go for sight seeing, I always mention the refuge. Itâ€™sÂ especially beautiful this time of year.
â€” Carolyn Abadie
Funny you should ask because my husband and I were just out there this past Sunday afternoon counting the alligators and watching the blue herons wading in the shallow waters.Â The new center is beautiful and the children were so enjoying the interactive exhibits.Â I still love the overlook facing west where the geese come in.Â Things are so dry everywhere I hope we do have some pretty foliage.
â€” Kathryn Davis
The feeling Â of Â peace and tranquility... that life is going on as it should and that there is someone a lot wiser than we are in control of Â the world (thank goodness)!
â€” Pat Lane
No contest!Â I love the hardwoods.Â Since I was a boy, I have loved to deer huntÂ hardwoods.Â I even love to just be in and walk hardwoods in the fall and winter.
â€” Jud Ward
The Refuge is a great place to take our grandchildren and I like to take the Girl Scouts out there also.Â The Woodpecker Trail and the Goose Overlook are probably my favorites, but I like it all. Â The Refuge is beautiful in all seasons, I forgot the Prairie and its abundance of butterflies. Â That is awesome. Â
â€” Julia PendleyÂ Â Â Â Â Â
When I go to Noxubee, I like to make myself into a hole in nature and let the Refuge happen around me...thatâ€™s when I get some of my best photographs.
â€” Candy Crecink
Love the peaceful setting and the views from the back porch of the visitors center.
â€” Robin Pigg
NatureÂ can beÂ humbling in so many ways, but sometimes jarringly so... Out with a friend investigating places to paint landscapes, we flushed a large bird from the trees, but figured it was just a heron. As we continue our search we flushed the bird again, and this time we could see it flying into the distance. We didnâ€™t think much of it until it turned around and began its flight towards our location. I remember this so well as the bird I watched flying towards me just seemed to get bigger and bigger and bigger. Amazed by the span and size of the eagle as it became clear that this was indeed a large predator, I felt frozen in my tracks as it flew maybe fifteen feet above my head watching me as it made its way to its next perch. It was the very smallest, and most intimidatedÂ Iâ€™ve felt in a long long time. I left the woods and the Refuge a slightly better person that day, humbled and with not only greater respect for the outdoors, but also a bit of a healthy fear of it as well.
â€” Dylan Karges
I love the nature and the serenity from the Creator. The peace of God and the presence of God. My favorite view is the Outlook Observation.
â€” Rev. Larnzy Carpenter
I love that we have a bit of wilderness right here. It is a great place to collect your thoughts without distraction. I love the lake by the Larry Box Center.
â€” Joe Evans