Mingo National Wildlife Refuge is located in southeast Missouri in Stoddard and Wayne Counties. Visitors can stop by the Visitor Center located 1 mile north of Puxico off Highway 51 at 24279 State Highway 51, Puxico. The Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m from March through November. During December, January and February the Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Visitor Center is closed on most Federal holiday weekends. Contact the refuge office at: 573-222-3589. E-mail: Mingo@fws.gov
Start you visit off at the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. Inside the visitor center are exhibits on the plants, wildlife, habitat and history of Mingo National Wildlife Refuge. The visitor center also has a theater where visitors can watch an 8 minute video discussing the primary purpose of the refuge. Mingo staff or volunteer will also be available to help orientate visitors during their time on the refuge.
Observe wildlife along three auto tour routes. Be alert, drive slowly, and avoid any critters crossing the road. Bluff Road and Red Mill Drive are open year round and the Ozark Highlands Auto Tour Route is open March - November, conditions/weather permitting. (Note: Ozark Highlands Auto Tour Route may be closed at any point for maintenance or management needs.)Another popular activity is walking the Swampwalk Nature Trail, which consists of an accessible boardwalk that meanders 0.8 miles through the bottomland hardwood forest. Observation decks at the Monopoly Overlook, Rockhouse Marsh, and Red Mill Drive, offer outstanding views of the Mingo Basin and its wildlife. Come check us out!
When planning a trip to the refuge, it is important to wear appropriate footwear for canoeing, sturdy shoes for land excursions and to dress for the weather. Bring water, camera, binoculars, field guides, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and anything else that might make the outdoor experience more enjoyable. You can enter the refuge at the following locations: Bluff Road at Highway 51, Schoolhouse Access (Highway 51), Mingo Job Corps (Highway T), Rabbit Ridge Road (County Road 518), and McGee Gate (County Road 513). Entrance permits are required year-round for entering the refuge. The permits are available at the refuge office. For each vehicle, you need one of the following:
Daily Permit ($3.00; available at the entrance kiosks) Mingo Specific Annual Pass ($12.00) Federal Duck Stamp ($15.00) Interagency Annual Pass ($80.00) Interagency Senior Pass ($10.00) for U.S. Citizen 62 years of age or older Interagency Access Pass (free) for U.S. Citizen with a permanent disabilityInteragency Annual Military Pass (free) for active Military and their dependent(s)For more information about Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, download the General Brochure here: Mingo Brochure
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In 1976, through the Wilderness Act of 1964, Congress designated 7,730 acres of swamp, riparian areas, and Ozark Plateau uplands as the Mingo Wilderness Area.