Visitors to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge enjoy viewing a variety of wildlife within a few minutes of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area. The Refuge landscape provides sanctuary throughout the seasons for waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, river otter, black-tailed deer, coyotes, herons, and numerous other species of wildlife. The Refuge also offers a place for people to keep in touch with their 'wild' neighbors. For many, this is a special place to learn about and appreciate the splendor of the natural areas that once occurred in abundance along the lower Columbia River.
The 5,300 acre Refuge contains a lush mosaic of wetlands, grasslands, riparian corridors, fir forests, and Oregon white oak woodlands. These habitats combined with a mild rainy winter climate provide an ideal environment for migrating and wintering waterfowl. Every fall the Refuge comes alive with thousands of ducks, geese, swans and cranes. These birds depart their northern nesting range and migrate to this area to avoid the harsh Alaskan and Canadian winters. On Ridgefield Refuge, they find resting and feeding areas where they spend the winter months preparing to meet the demands of the spring migration and nesting seasons.
The Refuge offers wildlife-dependent public use in designated portions of the Refuge. The Carty Unit and its 2-mile Oaks to Wetlands Trails are open year-round during daylight hours. The River 'S' offers the 1-mile Kiwa Trail, which is open for use from May 1 to September 30. The River 'S' Unit also contains the 4.2-mile Auto Tour Route and observation blind that are open year-round during daylight hours. To limit disturbance to wintering waterfowl , visitors must remain in their vehicles along the Auto Tour Route from October 1 to April 30. Enjoy wildlife observation during the winter months as your car serves as your personal mobile observation blind. A portion of the River 'S' Unit is open to waterfowl hunting during the regular waterfowl hunting season. Follow the links below to learn more about all the public use programs and opportunities on the Refuge. All other areas of the Refuge are posted and closed as sanctuary areas for resident and migratory wildlife. Pets, bicycling, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, running and ATVs are not allowed on the Refuge.
Full Moon Hikes
A trail that is familiar by day becomes a whole new experience
at night! These guided hikes provide opportunities to witness owls
hooting, coyotes yipping, and bats wheeling. And, of course, the
wonders of the night sky away from city lights. Full moon hikes
are free, but space is limited. RSVP required. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
to reserve your spot. For more information please click, Full
Join a Refuge volunteer naturalist for a series of birding hikes on Ridgefield and Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuges. This is an excellent opportunity to sharpen your birding skills while enjoying Refuge trails. All hikes start at the respective trail head. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot early.
Follow these links to learn more about recreation opportunities on the Refuge: