Merced NWR Interpretation
Refuge System interpretation programs provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world. From self-guided walks to staff-guided programs, national wildlife refuges help visitors learn more about the wildlife and habitat behind the landscapes.
The Merced NWR features an interpretive auto tour route, three nature trails, and two elevated observation platforms to view and learn about wildlife. The Refuge hosts many tours and several special events throughout the year including the annual Crane Day in the fall and Arena Plains Vernal Pool and Wildflower Day in the Spring.
Another nearby Complex attraction to explore – the San Luis NWR Complex Visitor Center and Headquarters located on the San Luis NWR includes an exhibit hall with interactive educational exhibits on wildlife and habitats, tule elk viewing, a multi-purpose room to hold conservation meetings and conduct environmental education programs for schools, and is the administrative headquarters for the Complex. The Visitor Center complements the wildlife refuges of California’s San Joaquin Valley and provides a focal point for visitors, and a launching point to explore the entire Refuge Complex. The facility was designed for environmental sustainability and energy efficiency and was awarded a Platinum rating under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED), and is striving to produce all energy used by the facility via banks of solar panels. The Visitor Center may be open for extended hours seasonally, but it is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except holidays.