Visitor Activities

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There are plenty of neat things to do and see on your visit to Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge.  Below are some of the more popular destinations.

  • Hunting

    To find out more about hunting opportunities, seasons and regulations on Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge, follow the "learn more" link below..

    In general, 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 appreciate of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs.

    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 may grow too large for the refuge habitat to support.

    Hunting programs maypromote understanding and appreciation of natural resources and their management on lands and waters in the Refuge System.

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  • Fishing

    For more information about fishing on Pee Dee Refuge, follow the "learn more" link below.

    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.

    Quality fishing opportunities are available on more than 270 national wildlife refuges.  Visitors can experience virtually type of sport fishing on the continent.  From inconnu and grayling in remote Alaska, to snook hovering by mangroves in Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands, national wildlife refuges offer anglers adventure and diversity.

    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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  • Wildlife Viewing

    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.  For more information about wildlife observation opportunities at Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge, contact the Refuge Manager.

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  • Interpretation

    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.

    Through Refuge System interpretation programs, you can learn why nearly all of the critically endangered Whooping Cranes spend the winter at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, about the beneficial role of wildfire to encourage native vegetation to grow at Necedah Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin, and thousands of other interesting and informative stories.

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  • Environmental Education

    National Wildlife Refuges serve many purposes, and one of our most important roles is as outdoor classrooms to teach about wildlife and natural resources.  Many refuges offer environmental education programs for a variety of audiences.  Refuges provide unique and exciting outdoor environments – excellent locations for hands-on learning activities.  Thousands of youth and adult groups visit every year to learn about a specific topic on wildlife, habitat, or ecological processes.

    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 Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge to check on program availability and reservation policies.  Refuges are wild places, and we want to teach you more about them!

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  • Photography

    Perhaps the fastest growing activity on national wildlife refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography.  That’s not surprising – the digital camera population explosion and cell phones with ever-improving picture-taking abilities are increasing the number of nature photographers at a rapid rate.  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.

    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.  Wildlife photography is a high-priority activity in the Refuge System.  We welcome beginning and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures on film, memory card or internal hard drive! 

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  • Gaddy Covered Bridge and Trail

    Once featured in Our State Magazine, the Gaddy Covered Bridge is a beautiful wooden foot bridge that spans Thoroughfare Creek.  To get there, take Grassy Island Road east from Ansonville.  Turn left at the refuge kiosk onto Griffin Road.  Then turn left on Gaddy Road, and the trail access is on your right.

  • Pee Dee River

    From March 15 through November 24, visitors can access the Pee Dee River at the end of Griffin Road.  This is a great starting point for short paddling trips, as the public boat ramp at Highway 109 is just four river miles downstream.  

    The river is accessible at the end of Anson Access Road year round, but the bank is too steep for launching boats.

  • Wildlife Drive Area

    The main entrance on Highway 52 North provides access.  The 3-mile paved Wildlife Drive has two hiking trails, an observation blind, and a fishing pier at Sullivan Pond.  The Drive showcases Pee Dee’s diverse habitats, as it winds you through upland old fields, the Brown Creek bottomlands, Sullivan moist soil impoundment, and an upland pine forest. 

  • Grassy Island Road

    Three miles north of the refuge office, Grassy Island Road intersects the heart of the refuge, and is a North Carolina Scenic Byway.  Our kiosk at Griffin Road provides refuge maps, information, and hunting and fishing permits in season.