Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge

Colfax County New Mexico

SFT photo

Photo by Henry Ostrander

This 3,270-acre wildlife refuge has a natural alkaline playa lake for Canadian geese and other water fowl, plus man-made improvements, marshy habitats, and open water. N & W of the town of Maxwell (250 residents). Camping is allowed here. Hunting is not permitted, but the lakes contain bass and trout for fishermen.

The earlier of two Mountain Routes of the Santa Fe Trail, (which went to the hamlet of Rayado, predating Cimarron) passes through the west edge of the refuge. This was the route of Kearny's Army of the West in 1846.