COVID-19 Information

Being safe on our refuges and hatcheries

We are proud to provide opportunities for safe, enjoyable experiences at many of our national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries during the coronavirus pandemic.

If visiting one of our locations, please #RecreateResponsibly and follow guidance from the CDC and state and local health authorities on social distancing, exercising good hygiene and avoiding overcrowding:

  • Plan your visit outside peak hours
  • If a parking lot is full when you visit, please do not stop
  • Park only in designated areas
  • Wear a mask when social distancing cannot be maintained
  • Pack out everything, including pet waste
  • Keep your dog on a leash for the safety of your pet and other visitors
  • Please only visit if you are feeling well - we ask you to stay home if you're feeling sick
  • We discourage long-distance travel

Federal Mask Mandate

When entering or remaining on a national wildlife refuge, visitors over the age of two years, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks in the locations listed below, except when actively eating or drinking. Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks with ventilation valves and face shields do not meet the mask requirement. Masks should not be worn by children younger than two years old, anyone who has trouble breathing and anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Locations where masks are required:


  • All common areas and shared workplaces in buildings owned, rented or leased by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including, but not limited to, visitor centers, administrative offices and gift shops
  • The following outdoor areas when others are present and social distancing cannot be maintained:
    • Outdoor areas adjacent to visitor centers or administrative office entry areas
    • Parking lots or pull-off viewing areas when outside of an enclosed vehicle
    • Trailheads, trails, rest areas, fishing piers, boat ramps and close proximity hunting areas


We understand that the outdoors can help relieve stress, but these guidelines must be followed for our public health and safety. For now, refuge visitor centers and other public facilities are closed and most scheduled events have been postponed. For more information visit our website, FWS Coronavirus Response.


Refuge lands remain open from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset

The portable restroom at the Platte River Trail parking lot is open to the public and is scheduled for cleaning and restocking once a week. 

The Platte River Trail remains open for hiking, running, wildlife observation and is groomed for cross-country skiing when snow levels allow. See home page for trail conditions!

As long as social distancing and other CDC-recommended practices are observed, visiting a national wildlife refuge can be a great way to get outdoors, enjoy the weather and avoid cabin fever.


Refuge Office

The maintenance office is open intermittently, due to staff shortages. Wearing a mask is required in this building, regardless of vaccination status.




Call: (763) 389-3323