Visitor Activities

Wildlife Viewing over Wetland

Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge provides visitors with a chance to experience the natural floodplain habitat of the Patoka River corridor.

  • Hunting

    Father and Son on a Hunt

    Hunting and fishing opportunities are abundant within the refuge. The area includes a diversity of habitats from floodplain and upland forests, to deep water swamps and shallow wetlands, to grasslands and early successional fields. These areas support waterfowl, deer, quail, turkey, squirrels, rabbits and other game species. Refuge hunting seasons generally follow state regulations; however, the refuge maintains special conditions that must be followed while hunting on the refuge. For more information, contact the refuge office at 812-749-3199.

     Refuge Map and Regulations

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  • Fishing

    Young Angler

    The Patoka River and its tributaries provide opportunities for fishing whether from the bank or in a boat. Associated wetlands and backwater sloughs also offer high quality areas to catch crappie, bass, bluegill and other fish throughout the year. Four boat ramps within the refuge boundary provide opportunities to access and explore the Patoka River and Snakey Point Marsh. To find out more about locations, contact the refuge at 812-749-3199.


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  • Wildlife Viewing

    Wildlife Viewing at Patoka River

    If you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, consider a visit to the refuge. The refuge provides access to one of the best remaining bottomland hardwood forests in the Midwest. In addition, mature upland forests and large grassland areas provide habitat for a rich diversity of plants and animals. With a variety of habitats, the refuge provides many opportunities to watch wildlife on land and water.

  • Interpretation

    Hawk Program

    National Wildlife Refuges across the country provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world. Self-guided hikes as well as staff and volunteer led programs help visitors learn more about the wildlife and habitats behind the landscapes. Most programs and events are free, geared for youth and adults and provide a range of opportunities that maximize first-hand experiences along the river and trails in the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge. Contact the refuge or visit the Friends of the Patoka River website ( for more information about upcoming programs.

  • Environmental Education

    Wetland Study

    National Wildlife Refuges serve as outdoor classrooms to teach people about the natural environment. The refuge's education program focuses on increasing understanding of the ecological significance of the area and developing a life-long appreciation for local plants and animals. The Friends of the Patoka River and other knowledgeable volunteers are available to lead educational hikes and workshops at the refuge. Contact the refuge to schedule a program.

  • Photography

    Tracks in the Snow

    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.

    Whether the visitor is taking photos of dragonflies in the summer, beautiful stands of goldenrod in the fall, bobcat tracks in the winter, or salamanders in the spring the possibilities are endless for interesting nature photography at Patoka River NWR.