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 public health authorities on social distancing, exercising good hygiene and avoiding overcrowding:

  • Plan your visit outside of peak hours
  • If a parking lot is full when you visit, please continue on to another trail
  • Park only in designated areas
  • Pack out everything, including pet waste
  • Keep your dog on a leash for the protection of your pet and other visitors
  • Please only visit if you are feeling healthy - we ask you to stay home if you're feeling sick
  • We discourage long-distance travel

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, visitor our webpage: FWS Coronavirus Response


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

The restrooms at the Wildlife Drive, Oak Savanna Learning Center and trailheads are open to the public and are scheduled for cleaning and restocking twice weekly. Pit toilets at the Wildlife Drive and the Blue Hill and Mahnomen Trailheads are scheduled for cleaning on Monday and Thursday. OSLC restrooms are scheduled for cleaning on Wednesday and Friday.

Blue Hill, Mahnomen and Oak Savanna Learning Center hiking trails remain open. Please stay on designated trails, as wildlife sanctuary remains in effect. Other public use options during wildlife sanctuary (March 1 - August 31) include the Prairie's Edge Wildlife Drive, fishing access points and the designated canoe route.

The Prairie's Edge Wildlife Drive is open for vehicle access for the season! Additionally, hiking and biking the 7.3 mile loop is permitted.


Refuge Headquarters has changed its operations as of 3/19/20

Refuge Headquarters has temporarily changed its operations in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. This closure follows guidance from the CDC and recommendations from state and public health authorities. While Refuge Headquarters is closed to the public, we are unable to issue America the Beautiful Passes and the Eagle's Nest Nature Store, run by the Friends of Sherburne, is closed as well. Updates will be posted here on the refuge website.


July event goes virtual

In keeping with guidance from the CDC and acting out of an abundance of caution, we are joining other community organizations in modifying in-person refuge events for the month of July. This includes the Sherburne NWR Photography Club monthly meeting on July 8. Reference the Events Calendar page for details!

We know many people across the community will miss gathering for these events, but we are committed to doing our part to ensure public safety and to slow the spread of COVID-19. This decision was made for the safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff, and to prevent encouraging groups of ten or more from gathering. We will continue to monitor the situation and all relevant guidance and will resume hosting in-person refuge events when it is prudent to do so.

Questions? Please email or call Alaina Larkin, Visitor Services Manager, at 763-260-3078.