Visitor Activities

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There are a variety of opportunities to explore at Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge. From sun up to sun down, come check us out!


  • Hunting

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    Hunting is one of the tools used to manage wildlife populations on the Refuge. Area specific regulations apply in addition to state regulations. Popular hunting seasons include deer, turkey, waterfowl, and small game. Hunters are required to obtain, and sign a free refuge hunting permit before arriving to hunt on the Refuge. 

    Waterfowl hunting on designated waterfowl management units is allowed by quota draw hunt only. For more information on the draw, please see the refuge hunting/fishing permit.

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  • Fishing


    Clarks River is home to a variety of fish species such as largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, and crappie. Fishing is enjoyed by visitors of all ages, and is a popular use on the Refuge. Those interested in fishing need to obtain a refuge fishing permit before arriving to fish on the Refuge. Permits can be found on the permits link.


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  • Wildlife Viewing

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    Across the country, wildlife observation is the most popular activity for refuge visitors. So, if you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, consider Clarks River NWR!

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  • Interpretation

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    Interpretation allows visitors to make their own connections with our natural resources and is a popular activity on refuges. 

    At Clarks River NWR, most interpretation takes place at the Environmental Education and Recreation Area (located off of Hwy 408, east of Benton, KY) where there are interpretive signs, observation decks, trails, and an informational kiosk. At refuge headquarters a kiosk is located outside with maps, brochures, and a pegboard for current events or information. 

    The refuge is frequently asked to conduct interpretative programs for various schools, churches, clubs, and organizations. Several interpretive programs take place on the refuge in the form of bird walks, bird banding, hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. These programs are both requested by various groups and put on voluntarily by refuge staff as a special event for the community.

  • Environmental Education

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    National Wildlife Refuges serve many purposes, and one of our most important roles is as outdoor classrooms to teach about wildlife and natural resources.  

    Is your school, youth, environmental or other group interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants, and habitats on the Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge and western Kentucky area? Contact us to schedule a program!

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  • Photography


    Whether you have expensive equipment or just a cell phone, refuges are a great place to capture wildlife on camera! Clarks River NWR has a variety of locations good for wildlife photography, but in addition we have a photo blind located at the Environmental Education and Recreation Area. The photo blind is open by reservation only. Contact refuge headquarters for more information.