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.


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    Buy Your Pass Online!

    Enjoy the convenience of purchasing a Crab Orchard NWR site-specific digital pass on before you arrive.

    Vehicle Pass

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    No Significant Impact on Spillway Repair

    Crab Orchard spillway repair found to have no significant environmental impacts.

    Click on this link to read more.....

  • Hunting Along Field

    New Hunting Opportunities

    The Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is opening additional acres to hunting.

    Learn more...

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    Follow Crab Orchard on Facebook

    Follow Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge on Facebook to keep up to date on the latest events and wildlife sightings on the refuge.

    Crab Orchard NWR Facebook

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    Illinois Jr Duck Stamp Contest

    The Junior Duck Stamp Contest integrates art and science into a hands-on learning experience. Click the link below for more information.

    Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Program


2021 Camping Season


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is following federal, state, and local public health authority guidance to implement a phased approach to increase public access to Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. During April 1st the campgrounds at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge reopened public access to the 2021 Camping Season. Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge reopened public access to Crab Orchard Lake Campground, Crab Orchard Marina, Blue Heron and Little Grassy Campgrounds and Marinas. We are excited to welcome you back into the 2021 camping season but do ask that you follow current CDC safe practices by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick. Staff are working to maintain clean, safe, and healthy facilities in accordance with federal, state and local guidance. Please continue to visit this site for updates. Enjoy your visit!

More information about the 2021 camping season

Headquarters Building

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We move to the new headquarters building! As a public health precaution the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters Building is currently open with limited services. At this time just the front lobby is open for visitors to get information and purchase refuge passes. The Headquarters Building front lobby is open daily, 7:30 am - 4:00 pm.

Click for more information

Junior Refuge Ranger Program

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Kids ages 4 to 12 can become a Junior Ranger by completing certain steps in the Junior Refuge Ranger Booklet! This booklet is full of fun activities that can be done while exploring the Refuge with the whole family, next time that you come and visit us ask a Ranger for it.

2021 Crab Orchard Photography Group Update

Crab Orchard Photograohy Group Rezise

Please notice as a public health precaution the Crab Orchard Photography Group has cancelled their meetings until further notices. Bring your camera and dress for the outdoors (weather permitting). The Crab Orchard Photography Group meets on the third Wednesday of each month (except during January) from 8 to 11am. Meet your CONWR volunteer photographer/leader at the Visitor Center, then carpool and caravan to special locations in the Refuge to photograph the seasonal offerings such as wildflowers, butterflies, migrating birds, and other wonders of nature. The group will reconvene back at the Visitor Center to share pictures and talk about photography. No experience necessary! No reservations required! For more information contact the Refuge Visitor Center.

Illinois Jr Duck Stamp

2021 Illinois Junior Duck Stamp

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The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program integrates art and science into a hands-on learning experience. Through art and science, this program teaches students in grades K through 12 the value of wetlands and the waterfowl that use them. Each year hundreds of students participate in their state’s program nationwide. Congratulations to Naransolongo Batgerel for winning Best of Show in the 2021 Illinois Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest! Naransolongo acrylic paint of a Black-bellied whistling duck next to its ducklings will continue on to the National 2021 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition. Click the link below for Illinois contest information.

Illinois Jr Duck Stamp

America the Beautiful Passes

America the Beautiful Passes


Senior Lifetime, Senior Annual, Interagency Annual, Military, Disabled Access Passes, and Every Kid Outdoors (4th Grade) passes, along with the Federal Duck Stamp and Refuge Specific Passes, are available at the Crab Orchard Visitor Center. Accepted payments are cash or check. Credit or debit cards may not be used for payment.

More Information

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