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Visitor Activities

Visitor Activities at Muscatatuck NWR

There are lots of things to see and do at Muscatatuck NWR.   The Refuge Visitor Center, open 8:30 am- 4:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday, should be your first stop.   Adjacent to the Visitor Center is the 1/4 mile Chestnut Ridge Interpretive Trail, a paved path that is accessible to the physically challenged.    From there you could check out the four mile Auto Tour Route, a loop that passes wetlands, grasslands, and management units before returning you to the Visitor Center area.   You could continue on down County Line Road past the Visitor Center to visit Stanfield Lake, the southern fishing ponds, or Myers Cabin and Barn (historic structures built prior to the refuge establishment).   Walkers can explore the other four short Refuge hiking trails or some of the old farm lanes in the refuge.   If you have little time approximately nine miles of roads are open to vehicles and provide excellent opportunities for wildlife observation at all times of the year.

  • Hunting

    There are opportunities for hunting turkey, deer, rabbit, and squirrel at Muscatatuck NWR.   Quail hunting is also permitted (contact the Refuge for more information before coming).   Generally State regulations apply.   Parts of the turkey and deer hunts are special permit only.   Hunters should pick up and carry with them a current Refuge hunting leaflet that shows the latest information about regulations and season dates.   Hunter harvest reports are also required and the cards can be picked up (and returned) to the Hunter check-in kiosks at various locations on the Refuge.  

  • Fishing

    Fishing is a popular activity at Muscatatuck and bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, and channel catfish are present in all areas open to fishing.   Two large lakes and several ponds are open to fishing, along with portions of the Muscatatuck River.  Open areas are indicated on the Refuge Fishing leaflet and by "Public Fishing Area" signs.   All fishing areas are open to "belly-boats" and Richart Lake is open to hand-powered canoes and kayaks.   All kinds of non-motorized boats are permitted on Stanfield Lake where a small boat ramp is present.   No motors of any kind may be used on the Refuge.

  • Wildlife Viewing

    The roads and trails of Muscatatuck provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities at all times of the year.   The best wildlife viewing is early in the morning and later in the evening, and those that travel slowly see much more than others.   The refuge is open one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset seven days a week.

  • Interpretation

    The Refuge Visitor Center is full of exhibits containing information on Refuge wildlife, wetlands, and the history of the area.   Refuge staff and volunteers are happy to work with groups visiting the Refuge with advance reservations.   Special events such as Wetland Day, Indiana Master Naturalist Classes, and the Wings Over Muscatatuck Bird Festival provide wonderful opportunities to learn more about wildlife, wetlands, and National Wildlife Refuges.

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  • Environmental Education

    Environmental education is important to the future of wildlife and Refuge staff and volunteers give programs on a regular basis.  There are opportunities for learners of all ages- both adult and Junior Master Naturalist classes, Family Fishing workshops, and Project WILD workshops for educators.  There are Nature Time programs for pre-schoolers the second Wednesday morning of each month, and Bird Walks for everyone on the third Saturday of each month.

  • Wildlife Photography

    The opportunities for wildlife photography are excellent at Muscatatuck and great photos can be made out of vehicle windows on refuge roads.   Early morning and evening are usually the best times for photography and those that travel the same route repeatedly soon learn where the best photos can be made.

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: May 05, 2015
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