Visitor Activities

Visitor Activities

Check out our upcoming events and see you there!

  • Hunting


    When conditions allow, a managed muzzleloader white-tailed deer hunt(s) is offered each year. This opportunity is available to eight mobility-impaired hunters. Hunters can apply to this annual hunt by calling the refuge office at 660-442-3187 or by filling out the application below. Managed Deer Hunt applications are open from July 1 to July 31. Draw results will be available after August 15. This hunt is restricted to muzzeloading or cap-and-ball firearms. Hunters must possess a Managed Deer Hunt Permit. Refer to the Missouri Department of Conservation Managed Hunt Program to apply for a Managed Hunt Permit and for more details. No other hunting is permitted on the refuge. 

    MDC Managed Deer Hunt Website 




  • Fishing


    Fishing is permitted in pools and ditches adjacent to the auto tour in accordance with State of Missouri fishing regulations and may only be taken with hand-held pole and line or rod and reel. Snagging for rough or non-game fish is available as conditions permit. Please refer to the current publication of the Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations published annually by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Primary fish species are carp, bullhead, and gar. A 2-acre pond located at the entrance to the auto tour road is open for fishing. One accessible floating dock allows easy access for bank fishing.

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  • Wildlife Viewing

    Wildlife Viewing

    Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge is home to many species of wildlife including more 300 species of birds, 30 types of mammals, and over 40 species of reptiles and amphibians. Whether you are hiking a trail or driving the Auto Tour Route, wildlife viewing opportunities are plentiful. Wildlife viewing areas exist throughout the refuge including several spotting scopes along the auto tour and hiking trails, an observation platform overlooking Eagle Pool, and a tower at the end of the Eagle Overlook Trail.

    Each spring and fall, northwest Missouri is visited by thousands of ducks and geese stopping to rest and fuel their bodies for the seasonal migration between northern breeding grounds and southern wintering areas. Watch for bald eagles, hawks, white-tailed deer, muskrats, waterfowl, and more along the auto tour route. During the summer the refuge is abuzz with butterflies, turtles, snakes, frogs, and various birds. Don't forget your binoculars!

  • Interpretation


    Interpretive programs and special events are offered for refuge visitors. Eagle Days are held annually the first full weekend in December. Eagle Days is a celebration of conservation efforts helping bring back the bald eagle population. National Wildlife Refuge Week is celebrated in October during the fall migration. It highlights the National Wildlife Refuge System’s wildlife resources. The Summer Junior Naturalist Program is for school-aged youth throughout the summer and provides hands-on outdoor learning experiences.

  • Environmental Education

    Environmental Education

    Refuge staff members support environmental education programs through the use of facilities, resource equipment, educational materials, teacher workshops, and study sites.

    Staff members are available to assist educators with programs upon request. Educational materials and field activity supplies are available for use by scheduled school groups. An auditorium and education building are also available for classroom programs.

    Through hands-on learning, refuge staff and volunteers work with children and educators to spark a sense of wonder and passion for the great outdoors.

  • Photography

    Wildlife Photography

    Nature photography gives us an opportunity to be still, silent, and patient. We are ultimately immersed in the moment when watching wildlife and capturing that perfect photo. Whether you use a digital camera or your cell phone, refuge visitors of all skill levels can take photos from the hiking trails or the observation platform, Eagle Overlook Tower, and the many wildlife observation pull-offs along the Wild Goose Auto Tour.

    The refuge’s location is excellent for bald eagle and snow goose photography in the winter and shorebirds in April and May. The summer is a great time for wildflower and insect photography, and waterfowl can be observed and photographed during the fall. Drive slowly and watch closely, there is always something to photograph.

    Have you already taken photos at the refuge? Check out the refuge’s Photo Contest!

  • Hiking

    Loess Hills hiking

    Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge has a variety of hiking trails that meander through the oak-hickory forests and prairies of the Loess Hills. These trails offer numerous opportunities to experience the year-round beauty of the refuge. All trails and the auto tour are open daily for hiking from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Some areas may be closed during peak bird migration, maintenance, or management activities. Check at the refuge’s visitor contact station or watch the roads for closure signs.

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  • Mushroom Hunting

    Black Morel Mushroom

    The fruiting bodies of morel mushrooms may be collected by hand for personal use or consumption in the forested hills of the Loess Bluffs, located on the east side of Highway 159 only. Please use the headquarters area for parking. Stay within the refuge boundary, which is designated by the National Wildlife Refuge boundary signs.

    The remaining areas of the refuge are closed for mushroom hunting. Mushroom hunting is not permitted along the auto tour route or within any bottomland area. Any disturbance in the closed areas can be detrimental for endangered, sensitive, or nesting wildlife species on the refuge.

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