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Visitor Activities

Visitor Activities
  • Hunting

    Young Hunter with Turkey


    A spring wild turkey hunt is offered to hunters with disabilities. Hunt dates will be the same as those set by the State of Minnesota, and hunters will be assigned a blind. A fall white-tailed deer hunt is also offered to persons with disabilities. Dates of the hunt will vary from year to year, but it typically will be held during the first few weeks of October. Each hunter will be assigned a blind. Midwest Outdoors Unlimited will be conducting the selection process for both of these hunts. Information can be obtained by calling them at (320) 987-3526 or e-mailing

    Refuge Hunting Information and Map (PDF) 


  • Wildlife Viewing

    Viewing Wildlife

    The Platte River Trail takes you through prairie, woodland, riverine and wetland habitats, where a variety of wildlife lives. Waterfowl, songbirds, sandhill cranes, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and more may be seen as you hike along the trail. Two observation platforms along the way help you get a closer look at wildlife and beautiful scenery.

    Bird Checklist (PDF) 


  • Interpretation

    Interpreter with Hawk

    Follow signs with clues to help Carly Crane solve the mystery of her missing egg, as you walk a self-guided loop at the beginning of the Platte River Trail. Interpretive programs for schools and other groups, as well as guided walks, may be offered throughout the spring, summer and fall. Contact the refuge or Friends of Crane Meadows for more information.

    Calendar of Events 2017 

    Saturday, February 11, 2017
    5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
    Candlelight Ski
    Join us to ski under a (nearly) full moon! Participants can ski on a one mile loop which will begin and end at the Refuge Maintenance Shop. The trail will be groomed and candlelit. Participants must furnish their own skis. The Friends of Crane Meadows will have snowshoes available for free to checkout during the event, so people can hike alongside the ski trails. There will also be a bonfire, free refreshments, and a warm area to socialize. The event is free and open to the public. Please call the Refuge for more information. 320-632-1575.  

    Saturday, March 11, 2017
    9 am to 1 pm
    Habitat Day
    Our Annual Habitat Day features family fun and your chance to help wood ducks and bluebirds. You're invited to learn more about these bird species and assemble a wood duck or bluebird box to take home. Bringing your own cordless drill or hammer would be helpful, but not necessary. Event is held at the Refuge Maintenance Shop. The event is free and open to the public. Food available for a small fee. Please call the Refuge for more information. 320-632-1575.  

    Saturday, May 6, 2017
    8 am to 10 am
    May Bird Walk
    Are you interested in learning about birds and want to know what species can be found around Little Falls during the Spring migration? Join other birders on May 6th at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge for a morning walk along the Platte River on the Platte River Trail. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Crane Meadows and is free and open to the public. The walk begins at 8:00 am at the Refuge Headquarters and will be about 2 hours long. Refreshments will be served at the end of the walk in the Refuge Shop. Wear your walking shoes and bring your binoculars. Loaner binoculars will be available at the trail-head if needed. Additional birding may be offered if there is interest. For more information call the Refuge Headquarters at 320-632-1575.


    Saturday, December 9, 2017
    9 am to 12 pm
    Backyard Bird Feeder
    Do you like to bird watch and would like to see more of your feathered friends in your yard or need a gift for that hard to buy for person? The staff and Friends of Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge invite you to build a bird feeder during the seventh annual Backyard Bird Feeder Day on Saturday, December 9, 2017. Come between 9:00 am and noon to the Refuge maintenance building. Due to a limited number of kits, there may be a restriction of one bird feeder per family. Snowshoeing will be available weather permitting. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call the Refuge at 320-632-1575.   


  • Environmental Education

    Child in Bald Eagle Costume

    Classes and groups are invited to visit the refuge and use the Platte River Trail for education programs. Contact the refuge office for information and trip planning assistance.

  • Photography

    Wildlife Photographer

    Birds and other wildlife may be photographed if you walk slowly and quietly along the Platte River Trail. Although the best time to see wildlife is in the morning, just after sunrise, or in the evening, before dusk, wildflowers and scenery may be photographed anytime during daylight hours.

  • Fishing

    Kid Fishing

    Fishing is not allowed at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

Page Photo Credits — Credit: USFWS
Last Updated: Dec 22, 2016
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