Wednesday, June 22, 2022 we took a guided trail hike at the Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge here in Fairbanks, right down the road from where we are staying at the Tanana Valley Campground.
When we first arrived in Fairbanks and were on the way to the campground, we noticed a large field full of birds on the eastern side of the road and found out later it was part of the Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge and that thousands of birds annually stop there for rest and food as they migrate south. Cindy found out we could take a guided tour with a local wildlife expert on Wednesday morning at 10am, so we decided that we would do just that.
Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge Sits on 2,500 acres of Alaskan wilderness in Fairbanks. It features wildlife viewing areas, birdwatching opportunities and miles of walking trails.
This land used to be filled with grazing cattle and was home to the original, historic Creamer’s Dairy Complex, an integral part of Fairbanks history which was in production from 1908 to 1966. In 1977 the buildings were admitted to the National Register of Historic Places and today the original Creamer Family Farmhouse serves as a Visitor Center that features educational displays about the history and ecology of the Refuge.
We were met at the Visitor Center by our guide, Marcy, at a few minutes after 10 and were joined by two men and a teenager from Fairbanks. Marcy was born and raised in Fairbanks and has been a third-grade teacher for the past 37 years.
The wildlife walk on the back part of the property took a little over an hour and, unfortunately, the only wildlife we experienced were the swarms of mosquitos that attacked us in spite of our being drenched in Deet. We got to see a couple of robins on the back property trails but I guess it just wasn’t a good day for other sightings. But on the plus side we did get in 2 1/2 miles of walking!
When we finished the unproductive walk, we strolled back up to the front and took some photos of the large birds there, though they were so far away it was difficult to make them out. Our guide had said they were Sandhill Cranes, but we were never sure from our own point of view.
After we finished up at Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, we drove a little ways past our campground to shop at the Fairbanks Farmers Market which is held each Wednesday and Saturday. They were roughly a third the size of the Eola Market that Cindy used to be a vendor at in Orlando, but had a good mix of products and food offerings. Cindy got a Banana-Nutella Crepe for a snack and as we sat down at the picnic table area we found another seeming staple at Farmers Markets…someone playing the guitar and singing.
Our stay in Fairbanks has been relaxing, entertaining and informative.
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