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Visitor Activities

Alligator with baby

 

A variety of outdoor activities take place on the refuge including nature photography, bird watching, hiking, fishing and boating. Fifteen miles of trails are available for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. (Not all trails are open for horseback riding due to the type of trail and location).

 

 

  • Photography

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    Nearly 12 million people visit outdoor areas each year to photograph wildlife, and national wildlife refuges naturally are at the top of the list.  Refuges provide enhanced opportunities to photograph wildlife in natural habitats by providing platforms, brochures, interpreters, viewing areas, and tour routes. We welcome beginning and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures! 

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  • Wildlife Viewing

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    If you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, consider a visit to your nearest national wildlife refuge!  From birding to whale watching, from viewing speedy pronghorn antelope or slow-moving box turtles, wildlife observation is the most popular activity for refuge visitors.

    From every state and all parts of the globe, about 40 million people visit each year, especially for the chance to see concentrations of wildlife and birds.  The National Wildlife Refuge System’s extensive trail system, boardwalks, observation decks, hunting and photography blinds, fishing piers and boat launches encourage visitors to discover America’s best wildlife spectacles. 

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  • Fishing

    Great blue heron with a fish

    In addition to the conservation of wildlife and habitat, the Refuge System offers a wide variety of quality fishing opportunities.  Fishing programs promote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on all lands and waters in the Refuge System.  Every year, about 7 million anglers visit national wildlife refuges, where knowledgeable staff and thousands of volunteers help them have a wonderful fishing experience.

     

    For a great place to reconnect with a favorite childhood activity or to try it for the first time, make plans to fish at a national wildlife refuge soon.  Find more information with our on-line Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuge.

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  • Hunting

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    Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage. 

    As practiced on refuges, hunting, trapping and fishing do not pose a threat to wildlife populations, and in some instances are necessary for sound wildlife management.  For example, because their natural predators are gone, deer populations will often grow too large for the refuge habitat to support.

     

     

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  • 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.  Refuges provide unique and exciting outdoor environments – excellent locations for hands-on learning activities.  

    Is your school, youth, environmental or other group interested in learning more about the wildlife, plants, habitats and ecology of a particular national wildlife refuge?  Contact or visit Lake Woodruff NWR to check on program availability and reservation policies.  Refuges are wild places, and we want to teach you more about them!

  • Interpretation

    150butterflyAndreaWestmoreland

    Refuge System interpretation programs provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world.  From self-guided walks to ranger-led programs, many national wildlife refuges help visitors learn more about the wildlife and habitat behind the landscapes.

    In addition to staff and volunteers presenting programs to audiences, refuges use a variety of exhibits, signs, brochures, and electronic media to communicate natural history stories to visitors.  Printed and virtual information is often available on many topics, including plants and animals, seasonal migrations, habitats, refuge management strategies, and endangered species.

     

Page Photo Credits — American alligator - Eric Isley, Bobolink - Andrea Westmoreland, Bobcat - Dtiet, Great blue heron - Andrea Westmoreland, Buck - J Smith, Gopher tortoise - Shell Game, Butterfly - Andrea Westmoreland
Last Updated: May 14, 2015
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