Visitor Activities

Visitor Activities
  • Hunting


    Erie National Wildlife Refuge is open to hunting of small game, deer, bear, turkey, waterfowl and other migratory game birds within state seasons. Hunting permits are no longer required.  However, hunters are still required to know and follow all refuge specific regulations.  The regulations will be posted at the four information kiosks (Route 27 and Boland Road; east of Route 173 and Richie Road; Route 408 and Swamp Road; outside of the Refuge headquarters off of Route 198 in Guys Mills).

    2021-2022 Erie Regulations and Map  



  • Fishing


    Fishing is permitted in the following areas in the Sugar Lake Division:

    - Woodcock Creek north and south
    - Woodcock Overlook Pond
    - Pool 4 outlet
    - Pool 9 dike area
    - Meyers Ponds
    - Pool K (with access available for disabled)
    - Reitz Pond dike and small ponds  

    Bank fishing is also permitted in all creeks and beaver ponds in the Seneca Unit with the exception of the area closed from January 15 to August 15 north of Muddy Creek and west of Swamp Road. 

    Please consult the refuge fishing brochure for specifics as well as special conditions.

    Download the fishing brochure (pdf)

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Wildlife Viewing

    In addition to five nature trails and the Deer Run Overlook, the refuge maintains an observation blind on Boland/Ritchie Road in the Sugar Lake Division which overlooks Reitz's Pond. Visitors can also travel along refuge roads and view wildlife from their vehicles.

    The Visitor Contact Station has an indoor viewing area, complete with seating, binoculars and bird identification materials for watching and identifying birds attracted to feeding stations outside. Microphones placed under two of the stations bring the bird sounds inside.

    Visit early in the morning or towards dusk, when the most animal activity occurs.

    Download the Erie bird brochure (pdf)

  • Interpretation


    Interpretive signs are posted throughout the Tsuga Trail, highlighting nature concepts as well as refuge management techniques.

    The refuge hosts Summer Fest on the last Saturday in June - 10:00 am - 4:00 pm with nature exhibits, demonstrations, activities and games for the entire family.

    On odd years the refuge hosts a Biennial Photo Contest sponsored by the Friends of Erie National Wildlife Refuge, Inc. and the Presque Isle Audubon Society. Watch for updates.

    “Let’s Go Birding,” and “Nature Explorers” are free kids programs in which kids complete activities in a booklet to receive an embroidered patch, and a certificate of participation.

  • Environmental Education

    Environmental Education

    The refuge offers Discovery Kits for Educators (Forests, Wetlands, and Migratory Birds) to use in teaching their students in a self-guided format. The kits contain lesson plans, props, videos and other materials. Teachers may borrow the kits for up to one month.

    Over 40 videos on a wide variety of wildlife and nature topics can be borrowed by teachers. Several dozen books are available for all ages, with a special section for educators.

  • Photography


    Nature trails and observation blinds provide opportunities for visitors to photograph wildlife and scenic areas.

    Waterfowl migrations occur from March to early April and again from September to November. Bird enthusiasts may readily see Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards, blue-winged teal, and hooded mergansers. 

    Bald eagles nest on the refuge and osprey visit in search of food. Red-tailed hawks and American kestrels are common raptors that nest here.

    During the summer shorebirds such as sandpipers and yellowlegs appear in small flocks, feeding on the mudflats.