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Clayton Lake State Park–Nature Trail

Birding in New Mexico

Clayton Lake State Park
Important Bird Area
Nature Trail

Clayton, New Mexico 88415
Clayton Lake State Park webpage
Clayton Lake State Park map
Clayton Lake State Park IBA

Also, see Clayton Lake State Park

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Union County

Clayton Lake SP–Nature Trail
Coordinates: 36.583299, -103.3102849
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About Clayton Lake State Park
Clayton Lake is a dammed lake created on Seneca Creek and surrounded by grasslands. This is the largest lake in Union County and often remains at least partially ice-free during the entire winter. The lake and surrounding cliffs and hillsides are managed by New Mexico State Parks. Hillsides surrounding the lake are covered with junipers and shrubs, providing a “different than usual” habitat.

Along the spillway, more than 500 dinosaur footprints have been preserved and identified. Plant-eating and carnivorous dinosaurs, as well as some ancient crocodiles, made these prints.

Clayton Lake State Park is 12 miles north of Clayton via NM 370.

The 170-acre lake is a waterfowl resting area in winter when fishing is prohibited. New Mexico State Parks manages the park for the benefit of birds as well as people. Waterfowl, primarily Canada Goose and Mallard, in winter of 1996 through 2000 averaged 6500 with a maximum of 9410. Both Trumpeter Swan and Tundra Swan have been seen at the lake during the Christmas Bird Counts.
From Clayton Lake State Park IBA

Clayton Lake State Park is an oasis in the rolling grasslands of northeastern New Mexico.

Enjoy boating, picnicking, camping, fishing, and hiking. Get a unique glimpse of the past when you explore one of the most extensive dinosaur trackways in North America and a close-up look at the stars at the Lake Observatory.
From Clayton Lake State Park webpage