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Visitor Activities

Visitor Activities
  • Hunting

    Young Hunter with Turkey


    A spring wild turkey hunt is offered to hunters with disabilities. Hunt dates will be the same as those set by the State of Minnesota, and hunters will be assigned a blind. A fall white-tailed deer hunt is also offered to persons with disabilities. Dates of the hunt will vary from year to year, but it typically will be held during the first few weeks of October. Each hunter will be assigned a blind. Midwest Outdoors Unlimited will be conducting the selection process for both of these hunts. Information can be obtained by calling them at (320) 987-3526 or e-mailing

    Refuge Hunting Information and Map (PDF) 


  • Wildlife Viewing

    Viewing Wildlife

    The Platte River Trail takes you through prairie, woodland, riverine and wetland habitats, where a variety of wildlife lives. Waterfowl, songbirds, sandhill cranes, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and more may be seen as you hike along the trail. Two observation platforms along the way help you get a closer look at wildlife and beautiful scenery.

    Bird Checklist (PDF) 


  • Interpretation

    Interpreter with Hawk

    Follow signs with clues to help Carly Crane solve the mystery of her missing egg, as you walk a self-guided loop at the beginning of the Platte River Trail. Interpretive programs for schools and other groups, as well as guided walks, may be offered throughout the spring, summer and fall. Contact the refuge or Friends of Crane Meadows for more information.

    Calendar of Events 2015
    May 9, 2015
    May Birdwalk
    Are you interested in learning about birds and want to know what species can be found around Little Falls during the Spring migration? Join other birders on May 9th at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge for a morning walk along the Platte River on the Platte River Trail. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Crane Meadows and is free and open to the public. The walk begins at 8:00 am at the Refuge Headquarters and will be about 2 hours long. Refreshments will be served at the end of the walk in the Refuge Shop. Wear your walking shoes and bring your binoculars. Loaner binoculars will be available at the trailhead if needed. Additional birding may be offered if there is interest. For more information call the Refuge Headquarters at 320-632-1575.

    June 13, 2015
    Platte River Clean-up Day 
    Do you like to canoe or want to learn how? The Friends and Staff of Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge along with the Royalton Lions invite you to the Platte River Cleanup Day on June 13, 2015. Take a leisurely float down the river while picking up garbage. Enjoy the birds, scenery, being outdoors, and maybe even fishing while helping the river. The day begins at 8:00 am and usually ends by noon. Meet at the Refuge Headquarters for your assignment. Some canoes, paddles, and life jackets are available but you are welcome to bring your own. Drop off and pick up service is provided by Refuge staff or volunteers. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served at the end of the clean up. Please call the Refuge for more information, to sign up, and check on canoe availability. 320-632-1575.


    Saturday, Dec. 12, 2014
    Backyard Bird Feeder Day
    Do you like to bird watch and would like to see more of your feathered friends in your yard or need a gift for that hard to buy for person? The staff and Friends of Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge invite you to build a bird feeder during the sixth annual Backyard Bird Feeder Day on Saturday, December 12, 2015. Come between 9:00 am and noon to the Refuge maintenance building. Due to a limited number of kits, there may be a restriction of one bird feeder per family. Snowshoeing will be available weather permitting. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call the Refuge at 320-632-1575.



  • Environmental Education

    Child in Bald Eagle Costume

    Classes and groups are invited to visit the refuge and use the Platte River Trail for education programs. Contact the refuge office for information and trip planning assistance.

  • Photography

    Wildlife Photographer

    Birds and other wildlife may be photographed if you walk slowly and quietly along the Platte River Trail. Although the best time to see wildlife is in the morning, just after sunrise, or in the evening, before dusk, wildflowers and scenery may be photographed anytime during daylight hours.

  • Fishing

    Kid Fishing

    Fishing is not allowed at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: Apr 17, 2015
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