Burns Sewage Ponds are a series of three wastewater treatment ponds, two of which are located together just west of the Fairgrounds. A third is to the south of the Fairgrounds. (There is some confusion with the name as these ponds are arguably closer to Hines than Burns, but the Hines Sewage ponds are different, being about a mile south of here along Hotchkiss Lane.)
The nearby Burns-Hines Nature Trail has an elevated viewing platform overlooking two of the ponds.
Access the ponds in three places:
1. In morning hours, viewing is best from the fairgrounds. Enter from Egan Avenue and proceed east to the pond boundary fence here. (An elevated platform exists here but it is no longer safe to stand on.)
2. Just south of the Fairgrounds, the south pond is visible from Egan Ave. Pull well off the road here and peer through the fence to the pond.
3. In the afternoon, lighting is best from the Burns-Hines Nature Trail which is a gravel walking path on a converted railroad bed west of the ponds. You will find a small parking lot at the trailhead at the intersection of W Pierce St and Egan Ave here. Walk a little less than a mile to the ponds. An alternate access is from Pettybone Avenue here.Directions
Habitat and Birds
These ponds have some of the best waterfowl diversity in the area. Expect diving ducks, grebes, gulls, terns, and swallows in season. Watch for rarities such as Sabine’s Gull and White-winged Scoter. Wilson’s Phalaropes are joined by Red-necked Phalaropes particularly in fall migration. The ponds are often TOTALLY covered with white geese in the spring. In winter these ponds are worth checking as they often have some of the area’s only open water.