Visitor Activities


There are lots of things to see and do at Muscatatuck NWR. The Refuge Visitor Center, open 8:30 am- 4:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday, is a great first stop for information and wildlife sightings. Adjacent to the Visitor Center is the 1/4 mile Chestnut Ridge Interpretive Trail, a paved path that is accessible to the physically challenged. Just past the Visitor Center is the four mile Auto Tour Route, a loop that passes wetlands, grasslands, and management units. You could also visit Stanfield Lake, the southern fishing ponds, or Myers Cabin and Barn (historic structures built prior to the refuge establishment). In addition to the Chestnut Ridge Trail hikers will find four other short hiking trails and many old farm lanes that provide great wildlife viewing opportunities.

  • Hunting


    There are opportunities for hunting turkey, deer, and upland game at Muscatatuck NWR. Part of the southern portion of the refuge is open to woodcock and waterfowl hunting.  Quail hunting is also permitted (contact the Refuge for more information before coming). Generally State regulations apply but there are some differences. Parts of the turkey and deer hunts are special permit only. Hunters should pick up, sign, and carry with them a current Refuge hunting leaflet.  For a copy of the current Refuge Hunting leaflet click on the "Learn More" link below.

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  • Fishing


    Fishing is a popular activity at Muscatatuck and bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass, and channel catfish are present in the fishing areas. Two large lakes and several ponds are open to fishing along with portions of the Muscatatuck River.  Discovery Pond (behind the Refuge Office), is open only to youth age 16 years and under. Open areas are indicated on the Refuge Fishing leaflet and by "Public Fishing Area" signs. All fishing areas are open to "belly-boats", and Richart Lake is open to hand-powered canoes and kayaks. Only non-motorized boats are permitted on Stanfield Lake where a small boat ramp is present. No motors of any kind may be used on the Refuge.

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  • Wildlife Viewing


    The nine miles of roads and five hiking trails of Muscatatuck provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities at all times of the year. The best wildlife viewing is early in the morning and later in the evening, and those that travel slowly see much more than others.  The refuge is open one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset seven days a week. For more information about the hiking trails click "Learn More".

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  • Interpretation


    The Refuge Visitor Center features interactive exhibits on wildlife, wetlands, and the history of the area and is a great first stop to learn about Muscatatuck. Refuge staff and volunteers staff the building Tuesday through Saturday, and are happy to give special programs to groups with advance reservations.  Special events such as Wetland Day, Indiana Master Naturalist Classes, the Wings Over Muscatatuck Bird Festival, and Log Cabin Day, provide wonderful opportunities to learn more about wildlife, wetlands, and National Wildlife Refuges.  For bird festival information click "Learn More".

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  • Environmental Education


    Environmental education is an important priority for Refuge staff and volunteers and a variety of programs are available.  There are educational opportunities for learners of all ages including Master Naturalist classes, Junior Birder programs. Family Fishing workshops, educator workshops, and Conservation Field Day programs for grade school youngsters.  Nature Time programs for pre-school youngsters are held the second Wednesday of each month and guided Bird Walks are conducted the third Saturday.  Refuge educators welcome the opportunity to work with teachers prior to their class visits, and volunteers are requently available to assist with field trips.  The annual Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest provides students in grades K-12 a fun way to learn about waterfowl and wetlands conservation by doing art (and curriculum guides are available). For more information click "Learn More".  

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  • Wildlife Photography


    There are excellent opportunities for wildlife photography at Muscatatuck and great photos can be taken out of vehicle windows on refuge roads (especially along the Auto Tour Route).  Early morning and evening are the best times for photography and those that travel the same route repeatedly soon learn where the best photos can be made.  For more information click "Learn More".

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