Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


  • Photo of a rainbow over the visitor contact station on the Overton Bottoms North Unit by Anna Weyers/USFWS.

    Visitor Contact Station Closed

    As a public health precaution, the visitor contact station is temporarily closed to the public. Outdoor areas and units remain open.

  • Map of the 17 Big Muddy Refuge unit locations, from Kansas City to St. Louis.

    Explore the Refuge

    With 17 units, the Refuge has plenty to explore! Click on our Visit tab, then Plan Your Visit to begin!

  • Photo of a checkered white butterfly (Pontia protodice) resting on a black-eyed Susan flower (Rudbeckia hirta) at the Overton Bottoms North Unit of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge by Anna Weyers/USFWS.

    Banking on Nature Report

    Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge brings more to you than watchable wildlife, it's good for the economy!

    Learn more here.


Visitor Contact Station Closed

Big Muddy Visitor Contact Station

As a public health precaution, the visitor contact station in Boonville is temporarily closed to the public. However, all outdoor areas and units remain open. Check back here for status updates; and in the meantime, please follow CDC guidelines and stay safe while enjoying your public lands!

Staff Feature

One of our out-going staff members was recently featured in a national U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service publication highlighting her photography and work at Big Muddy. Check it out!

Why I Took These Shots Feature

Celebrating the future and appreciating the past

Big Muddy turned 25 in 2019! Check out the news feature below to learn more about the history and legacy of Big Muddy NFWR.

Big Muddy Birthday Feature

Visit the Refuge

Explore the great outdoors and diversity of wildlife at any one of 17 units within the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. From hiking trails, observation decks, to hunting opportunities, there's plenty to enjoy. Exhibits at the Refuge visitor contact station tell the story of the Missouri floodplain and river habitats, and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on federal holidays, during inclement weather, or when staff are out for field work. Visitors are recommended to give us a call ahead of time to ensure that there will be a staff member or volunteer present to assist you. Head on over to our Plan Your Visit page to start planning your Big Muddy trip today!

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS