About the Refuge

Canada geese on the water

Erie refuge consists of two separate land divisions. Sugar Lake Division lies 10 miles east of Meadville on the outskirts of Guys Mills village. The Seneca Division is about 10 miles north of Sugar Lake Division or four miles southeast of Cambridge Springs, PA.


Erie National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1959. The first lands for the refuge were purchased with funds provided from the sale of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (also known as Duck stamps). Erie refuge is a namesake of the Erie Indians, a Native American tribe that resided in the area. The refuge is not on the shores of Lake Erie, but lies in Crawford County, 35 miles south of the city of Erie and Lake Erie in northwestern Pennsylvania. 

Erie is the only refuge in the nation protecting endangered northern riffleshell and clubshell mussels. French Creek, the most biologically diverse stream in Pennsylvania, flows near the Refuge where over 80 species of native fish are found. 

The refuge is designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society and attracts more than 230 species of birds. 

Download the refuge brochure (pdf)

Contact Information

Refuge Headquarters is located off Route 198E at 11296 Wood Duck Lane, Guys Mills, PA 16327- 3/4 mile east of Guys Mills and 10 miles east of Meadville. 

 Mailing Address: 

11296 Wood Duck Lane

Guys Mills PA 16327

Phone number: 814-789-3585 

Email: erie@fws.gov 

Refuge Headquarters is generally open from 8:00am – 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Due to limited staffing, the office is sometimes closed during regular hours. 

Outdoor facilities are open from ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.