Visitor Activities


Clean water. Clean air. Unusual and abundant wildlife. World-class recreation. The Refuge System provides and protects it all on 150 million acres of land and water from the Caribbean to the Pacific, Maine to Alaska. There is at least one national wildlife refuge in every state.

  • Hunting


    Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage. Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciation of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs. 

    • Deer hunting is allowed on the Waterfowl Production Areas in accordance with regulations and bag limits established by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department  
    • Upland bird and waterfowl hunting is allowed on the Waterfowl Production Areas approved non-toxic shot must be used.

  • Fishing


    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. 

  • Wildlife Viewing


    Wildlife observation is the most popular activity for refuge visitors. From every state and all parts of the globe, about 40 million people visit the 556 National Wildlife Refuges 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.

    Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Waterfowl Production Areas offer many viewing opportunities for birds and wildflowers during the spring, summer and fall. Optimum periods for viewing waterfowl, water, and shorebirds are September through October and April through May. The best times of the day to view the wildlife are usually during the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. 


    Many bird species can be seen from public roads. Walking the refuge and the Waterfowl Production Areas to view the wildlife and plants is allowed. The flowering period extends from April through August. Collection is PROHIBITED. Birdwatchers may be authorized by special permit to hike and place temporary viewing blinds within the Refuge. Bird lists and public use visitor guides are available at the Refuge headquarters.

  • Interpretation


    National Wildlife Refuges across the country provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world. Self-guided hikes and seasonal staff-led events help visitors learn more about the wildlife and habitats behind the landscapes.

    Long Lake Refuge provides periodic seasonal events. These events are free, geared for youth and adults and provide wildlife viewing opportunities. Events typically coincide with International Migratory Bird Day and National Wildlife Refuge Week. 


  • Environmental Education


    One of the most important roles National Wildlife Refuges serve is as an outdoor classroom. School groups, day care centers, 4-H clubs and other organizations come to the refuge to learn in and about the natural environment. 

    Refuge lands are available to educators, instructors and students of all ages to increase understanding of the ecological significance of the area and develop a life-long appreciation of wetlands and associated biological diversity. Please contact the refuge at 701-387-4397 to schedule a visit. Four education trunks offering topics on prairie, wetlands, shorebirds, and endangered species are available for use in the local area on a reservation basis.  


  • Photography


    Perhaps the fastest growing activity on national wildlife refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography. You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or have any experience to get started. A small camera or basic cell phone will do just fine for most visitors.

    Refuges and Waterfowl Production Areas provide enhanced opportunities to photograph wildlife in natural habitats by providing platforms, brochures, interpreters, viewing areas and tour routes. We welcome beginner and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures on film, memory card or internal hard drive. Photographers may be authorized by special permit to hike and place temporary viewing blinds.