The 7,823 acre refuge offers fishing, boating, hunting, mushroom
gathering, picnicking, four nature trails including one that is handicapped accessible,
Bertrand excavation site, and a wildlife drive.
DeSoto Visitor Center provides a small theater, area for interpretive
publications, viewing galleries overlooking DeSoto Lake, cultural and natural history
exhibits, and the world- famous collection of cargo artifacts from the steamboat Bertrand
that sank here in 1865.
Lewis and Clark camped for the night near DeSoto Refuge's Lakeview
Drive on August 3, 1804. In their journals, they made important observations about
the DeSoto Bend area. They described willow, oak, hickory, sycamore and cottonwood
trees; their first encounter with a badger; geese accompanied by their young; wood duck,
"crains" of several kinds, and a flock of pelicans that appeared to cover
August 4, 1804, the Corps camped up river near the town of Blair,
Source: Bruce E. Weber, Ph. D. Outdoor
Recreation Planner DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge