FWS Interpreted Sites

Many of the important historic sites located on FWS lands are open to the public and offer some level of interpretation and messaging about their historical context and relation to the area. Below is a list of sites that include a visitor component.

Region 1
State
Property
Site
Interpreted method 

Guam

Guam NWR

General cultural heritage

Self-guided trail includes cr-focused interpretive panels. The Guam National Wildlife Refuge Ritidian Unit welcomes the public to visit the newly constructed Nature Center. Open from 8:30 – 4:00 p.m., visitors will experience what Guam may have looked and sounded like 500 years ago. The four 16-foot murals depict Guam’s natural environment before European contact.

Hawaii

Hakalau Forest NWR

Pua Akala Cabin – listed on NRHP in 2009

Restored, open for self-guided tour, staff and volunteers presenting programs to audiences, refuges use a variety of exhibits, signs, brochures, and electronic media to communicate natural history stories to visitors, environmental education vis SUPs ( nature guides)

Hawaii

Kilauea Point NWR

(Daniel K. Inouye) Kilauea Point Lighthouse

Restored, guided tours one day/week, Interpretive signs are located along the pathway to Kilauea Point. Volunteers and staff are available to help identify the many birds and wildlife found at the refuge. Displays at the Kīlauea Point Contact Station and Visitor Center. Bookstore offers educational programs for children and shopping.

Hawaii

Midway Atoll NWR

Cable Station/WWII

Temporary panels on island that can be displayed when visitors arrive. Some exhibits in office as well, refuge currently closed to visitors.

Idaho

Deer Flat NWR

CCC/WPA Dam

Interpretive panel at parking lot

Idaho

Kooskia NFH

Lookingglass’ Village archaeological site

Mill Pond interpretive trail with panels, Self-guided walks around the refuge, outdoor classrooms to teach about wildlife and natural resources

Oregon

Bandon Marsh NWR

General cultural heritage

CR-focused interpretive panels at Marsh Overlook

Oregon

Finley NWR

Fiechter House

Restored, open for self-guided visit (interpretive panels in progress FY15), auto tours, interp. panels, carriage house, cabell lodge, big barn, fiechter barn.

Oregon

Hart Mountain NWR

Petroglyph Lake

Trail open for self-guided visit, no interpretation (brochure proposed for production FY15)

Oregon

Klamath Marsh NWR

General cultural heritage

CR-focused interpretive panels placed on refuge

Oregon

Malheur NWR

Barnes Springs Sod House – restoration project

Halfway through restoration of structure with volunteers. Anticipate completion by September 2015 and then interpretation of project.

Oregon

Malheur NWR

Benson Pond – CCC interpretation

Three poster display panels – in-house production of posters for display. Access to CCC constructed small building. Various CCC constructed infrastructure interpreted and viewable by visitors at the site.

Oregon

Malheur NWR

Narrows Pullout – prehistoric and historic interpretation

Interpretive Panels: Establishment of refuge – plume hunting, William Finley. Prehistoric use of Lake and Marsh. Oregon Trail Cut-Off Wagon Trains. Presence of bison in area. Historic town of the Narrows.

Oregon

Malheur NWR

P Ranch – historic interpretation

Restored historic long barn, fruit orchard and house foundations accessible year-round for visitors. Four interpretive panels with maps, historic photos, and benefit of historic water control ditches for wildlife use today.

Oregon

Malheur NWR

Refuge Headquarters Museum

Poster displays (20) with historic themes tied to historic ranches.

Oregon

Malheur NWR

Sodhouse Ranch – Historic Ranching, life in 1880s

Open August 15-Oct 15. Docent led tours, 5 interpretive panels, and self-guided tour brochure. Docents provide access to three buildings with antiques – other buildings are open for visitors. Office has displays and historic artifacts from excavations at ranch. 450 visitors this year when docents were present. 10 buildings and three have major restoration completed.The Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has created an audio tour for refuge visitors. A CD of the tour can be picked up at the Refuge Visitor Center or visitors can download MP3 files of the tour at the Friends of Malheur web site

Oregon

Oregon Islands NWR

General cultural heritage

CR-focused interpretive panels included on bluff trail (Riverside Drive) Staff and volunteers from the Oregon Coast NWR Complex collaborate with local teachers and students from surrounding school districts to provide practical and interactive environmental education both in the classroom and on the refuge.  programs focus on a wide variety of activities ranging from stewardship to the creation of conservation themed art, junior refuge manager program, 

Oregon

Tualatin River NWR

Atfalati Kalapuya heritage

Interpreted in permanent wildlife center exhibit, wildife trails and viewing, Classroom field trips to the Refuge rely entirely on an "educator led" concept. Educators and group leaders from the community plan and conduct their own field trips within the guidelines of the Refuge's established programs, puddle stompers nature day camp for children (http://www.friendsoftualatinrefuge.org/), creative nature camps: In July, youth in grades 3-6, photography, nature journaling, papermaking, wildlife crafts, hikes. Family strolls: Refuge volunteer naturalists lead guided walks showcasing native plants, animals, and the five different habitats on the Refuge

Washington

Conboy Lake NWR

Whitcomb-Cole House

Restored, open for self-guided tour, interpretive panel in place. Interpretive brochure in progress (FY15), Wildlife observation and photography, Willard Springs trail (not ADA accessible), day-use only refuge.

Washington

Hanford Reach NM

White Bluffs Cabin

Historical marker outside the cabin, boating,fishing,hunting, wild life watching.

Washington

Little Pend Oreille NWR

Winslow Logging Railroad

Self-guided auto tour with panels and interpretive brochure, (11 mile long Auto Tour starts at Refuge headquarters with a new welcome and information sign at the visitor kiosk.  There are twelve interpretive stops with illustrated panels using color photos and drawings or historic black and white photos. Learn about the early homesteaders, railroad logging, unique habitats and past and current management practices. Several sites offer wildlife viewing opportunities as well as access for the mobility impaired. The route is open for driving from April 15 through December 31).

Washington

Nisqually NWR

Brown Farm

Trail with cr-focused interpretive panels, Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge offers a variety of public programs from April through September. Programs include guided nature, bird, and history walks, walking trail level: beginner, $3 Refuge entrance fee still applies...Each year approximately 5,000 students, teachers, and group leaders visit Nisqually NWR

Washington

Ridgefield NWR

Cathlapotle archaeological site

Plankhouse, public/school programs, auto tours, wildlife viewing/birding trail, naturalist-led hikes in progress include various birding workshops.

Washington

Spring Creek NFH

General cultural heritage

Trail with cr-focused interpretive panels, offers hatchery tours, Salmon-in-the-Classroom activity in area schools, Clark County Home and Garden IDEA Fair (Vancouver, WA), HUGS Festival (White Salmon, WA), National Boating and Fishing Week activities (June) including the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Free Fishing Clinic and U.S. Forest Service Trout Lake Fish Education Day. In addition, Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery holds an annual Open House each September and Carson National Fish Hatchery has a Kid's Fishing Day in September. All of these are FREE events, Migration Golf--Links to the Sea children's golf activity (environmental ed).

Washington

Willard NFH

General cultural heritage

CR-focused interpretive panel,While the hatchery is frequently visited by elementary school groups, education efforts at the Little White Salmon/Willard National Fish Hatchery Complex focus on professional groups to bring a greater understanding of the complex issues involving salmon recovery in the Columbia River Basin and hatchery reform(Examples include annual presentations on Columbia River hatchery issues to the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Foundation program class as part of their Columbia River seminar. This off-site presentation is followed by a visit to the hatchery for a hands-on presentation regarding hatchery reform issues. Similar hatchery reform and Columbia Basin issue presentations and follow-up tours have been conducted for the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Fisheries class from Mt. Hood Community College, the annual U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service New Employee Orientation Seminar class, and groups from a variety of government agencies. Please contact the Complex headquarters at 509-538-2755 if you are interested in scheduling a tour or presentation)

Region 3
State
Property
Site
Interpreted method 

Indiana

Muscatatuck NWR

Myers Cabin and Barn

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. bookstore, log cabin days, project WILD workshop,

Iowa

DeSoto NWR

Bertrand Collections

Start at the DeSoto Visitor Center for an overview of the natural and cultural history of the area. Look for kiosks and signs throughout the area. Join us for interpretive programs and special events throughout the year. DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge partners with the Blair Community School District (NE) and students make repeat visits to the refuge each year. They explore the refuge through the seasons and learn more about the wildlife in their own backyardThe refuge also partners with Edison Elementary in Omaha for a yearlong Refuge experience for 6th grade students. This partnership includes school visits by rangers and field trips to the refuge. Other area schools are also served for single visit field trips to the refuge that are facilitated with activity guides and other assistance from refuge staff.

Iowa

Port Louisa NWR

Info on the buttonmaking industry at Muscatine IA in the exhibits at Port Louisa NWR

Michigan

Seney NWR

CCC Structures

Only Wigwam has interpretive signage

Minnesota

Glacial Ridge NWR

·  Glacial Ridge NWR has the oxcart path site that's on state land adjacent..

Minnesota

Sherburne NWR

  Indian Mounds

Walking trail within mounds but no signage

Minnesota

Slaughter Slough WPA (Windom WMD)

·  The Dakota War battle site at Slaughter Slough WPA within the Windom WMD has interpretive signage

Missouri

Big Muddy NWR

·  Big Muddy NFWR has a unit right below a state historic site http://mostateparks.com/park/arrow-rock-state-historic-site

Missouri

Mingo NWR

Sweets Cabin

Staff-led programs and self-guided exhibits, interpretive panels and brochures,Swamp Saturday Programs, Ozark Highlands Auto Tour Route may be closed for maintenance or management needs, swamp walk nature trails, Rockhouse Overlook, Monopoly Overlook, Red Mill Overlook, website offers birding checklist, Until the completion of the new visitor center, schools or groups may contact the temporary refuge office for more information on the availability of programs on such topics as wildlife, endangered species, geological and archaeological information, audio-visual programs, and other programs. Teachers may also check out classroom educational “trunks” from the refuge office to use for a number of environmental related topics

Ohio

West Sister Island NWR

lighthouse (also not open to visitation, but people boating on Lake Erie see it)

West Sister Island National Wildlife Refuge is closed to all public use to protect nesting birds  (DELETE--Not our lighhouse!!)

Wisconsin

Genoa NFH

·  Interpretive panels on the Blackhawk War within the Genoa NFH

Region 4
State
Property
Site
Interpreted method 

Arkansas

White River

The Civilian Conservation Corps' camps and conservation infrastructure - visitor center exhibit

Georgia

Harris Neck

Visitor Center exhibit [Native Americans, Sea Island Cotton Plantation, the Gullah Community, and WWII Army Airfield]

Georgia

Savannah

Visitor Center exhibit [Native Americans & the historic Rice culture]

Georgia

Savannah

Discovery Day at Refuge - archaeological program geared toward children.

Mississippi

Yazoo

Swan Lake Mound Complex

Stop on the Mississippi Department of Archives and History's automobile tour "Mississippi Mound Trail" [Link: http://www.mississippimarkers.com/mississippi-mound-trail.html].

South Carolina

ACE Basin

Visitor Center exhibits on The Grove, 19th century rice plantation on the Edisto River.  The 1828 main house serves as the Refuge's headquarters.  Located nearby is the "Detached Kitchen," a structure designed by Simons and Lapham in the 1920s to emulate historic plantation outbuildings.  The building is used a Visitor Contact station to interpret the 19th century rice plantation and the 20th century hunting plantation.

South Carolina

Waccamaw

Visitor Center exhibits on New South's excavations of Yourhaney Plantation (38GE18), an 18th to early 19th century plantation house overlooking the Pee Dee River.

Region 5
State
Property
Site
Interpreted method 

Connecticut

Silvio O Conte

Salmon River Division: Venture Smith Homestead

watershed on wheels: In addition to attending local fairs and festivals throughout the Connecticut River watershed, the WoW Express also has a free environmental education program tied to state and national science standards for 3rd-5th grades about rivers, adaptations, and habitats

Connecticut

Stewart B. McKinney

Lape-Read House & Eleanor Roosevelt connection

interpretive panels where visitors may learn about such varied topics as the Atlantic Flyway, the geology of Long Island Sound, the importance of saltmarshes, and many others, refuge also offers interpretive talks: owl prowls, wildlife photography workshops, programs on plants and animals, history talks and nature walks

Delaware

Bombay Hook

Allee House

currently closed

Maine

Aroostook

Cold War history Signage at Weapons Storage Area

interpretive trails with signage include wildlife viewing blinds and offers 13 miles of designated hiking trails for opportunities to observe wildlife. From the Refuge Headquarters visitors can access East Loring Trail, Durepo Loop Trail and the Beaver Pond Trail. The Swamp Road, Spruce Hill Trail, Powerline Trail, Loop Trail, Green Pond Trail and 13 Beaver Trail, Don Lima circular trail 1.2 miles handicap accessible, Formerly Loring Air Force base- military closed the base, gave 6,000 acres to FWS, 46 previously used storage bunkers on the refuge, bunkers are eligible for the National Historic Register.Three year project so far: building a new road out to the bunkers, approving it to create routes, developing interpretive panels for site. Challenges: grasslands around site are currently home to the Upland Sandpiper, possible ddt contamination...

Maine

Rachel Carson

Timber Point (planned)

The headquarters trail in Upper Wells has an informational kiosk and composting restrooms. The 1.8-mile Cutts Island Trail in Brave Boat Harbor Division has trail signs and restrooms

Maryland

Blackwater

Underground RR Interpretation, Harriet Tubman

Maryland

Eastern Neck

Exhibits

Maryland

Patuxent

VC Exhibit, Historic Districts, Duvall Bridge

Massachusetts

Assabet River

VC Exhibit

Massachusetts

Parker River

Archaeological talks

New Hampshire

Lake Umbagog

Potter Farm House (planned)

New Jersey

Great Swamp

VC Exhibit

New York

Iroquois

Interpretation of Sour Springs Mineral Operation

New York

Wertheim

VC Exhibit

Rhode Island

Ninigret

Historical Trail Walk

Rhode Island

Sachuest Point

VC Exhibit

Vermont

Missisquoi

Interpretive Signage

Virginia

Chincoteague

VC Exhibit, lighthouse

Virginia

Eastern Shore of VA

Interpretation of WWII Site, bunker and missiles

Virginia

Great Dismal Swamp

Underground Railroad Interpretive pavilion

Virginia

James River

Archaeological programming

Virginia

Mason Neck

Archaeological programming

Virginia

Prequile

Archaeological programming

Virginia

Rappahannock River

Archaeological programming

Region 8
State
Property
Site
Interpreted method 

California

Coleman NFH

General cultural heritage

CR-focused interpretive panel, Battle Creek Salmon Trail, interpretive trail with signs identifying plants, birds, insects, and other points of interest, yearly salmon festival, activities for children and seniors.

California

Humboldt Bay NWR

Duck Shack

Restored, open for self-guided visit, interpretive panel, hunting and fishing program, ranger guided walks and field trips, bird watching, photography class

California

San Diego NWR

Salt Ponds

Trail with interpretive panels, monthly ranger-led hikes,Hike with a Ranger" is on one Saturday per month, lasts about 2 hours, and there is no shade during the hike.    A limited amount of binoculars are provided to borrow for the hike. Refuge offers special events.

California

Tule Lake NWR

C-Camp

Stabilized, open for self-guided visit, interpretive panels (NPS has museum exhibit in town). In addition to staff and volunteers presenting programs to audiences, refuge uses a variety of exhibits, signs, brochures, and electronic media to communicate natural history stories to visitors. 

California

Tule Lake NWR

CCC heritage

Interpretive panel at overlook The visitor center includes a non-profit book store, latest information on the refuge happenings and a colorful wildlife exhibit.

Nevada

Ash Meadows

General cultural heritage

Trail with cr-focused interpretive panels at visitor center.

Nevada

Ash Meadows NWR

Longstreet Cabin

Restored, open for self-guided tour, new visitor center on refuge, point of rocks boardwalk, crystal springs boardwalk, Wheelchair accessible but no bicycles

Nevada

Desert NWR

Corn Creek Field Station

Trail at visitor center includes restored Railroad Tie Cabin and other cultural resource interpretation on panels. New visitor center is open: 11,000 square foot building with interpretive exhibits, a gift shop/bookstore, classrooms, and administrative offices, shows film all about the refuge and the many species of wildlife.

Nevada

Pahranagat NWR

Black Canyon Petroglyphs

Not open at this time but an interpretive plan is currently being developed (FY15), visitor center, "birding for beginners" classes with ranger, small desert mammals talk with interpretive props? History of Pahranagat valley talks and tour(Horse thieving, prospecting, ranching, and the occasional murder make Pahranagat Valley’s history quite colorful.  Hear stories of the valley’s wild west years and see two of the area's oldest cabins)..nighttime astronomy and animal hikes.

Nevada

Pahranagat NWR

Petroglyph Cabin

Restored, open for self-guided visit (panels in progress FY15)

Nevada

Ruby Lake NWR

Fort Ruby

Fort Ruby interpretive trail with panels (panels in progress FY15), auto tours, Refuge receives several school visits each year, and visiting students are issued binoculars and given a guided tour from the comfort of their own bus, staff also visits schools,  Refuge constructed a new handicap accessible wildlife observation platform at Narciss Boat Landing in spring of 2011

Nevada

Sheldon NWR

CCC Legacy of the Refuge

Self-guided auto tour with interpretive brochure

Nevada

Stillwater NWR

General cultural heritage

One CR-focused interpretive panel at Refuge entrance.