Plan Your Visit

dragonfly - Roger-Windemuth_512x219

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge offers wildlife viewing year-round on the Carty Unit and River S' Unit Auto Tour Route.

  • Public Engagement and Volunteer Activities - Postponed

    In an effort to be community focused, all public events, volunteer activities and the fee program are postponed until further notice for the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Ridgefield,Steigerwald Lake, Pierce and Franz Lake).

    Please see the Refuge Status Page for special announcements and up to date closures. 

  • Seasonal Closures

    The Kiwa trail on the River S' Unit and Carty Trail accessed from the Port of Ridgefield are both closed October through April to limit disturbance to wintering waterfowl in those wetlands.  These trails reopen May 1st.  

    The Auto Tour Route is restricted to access by car only October through April to reduce disturbance to wintering waterfowl that is caused by visible human presence. Please stay in your car except at the information booth and restrooms during this time.  This restriction is lifted May through September. 

    Please respect these closures as they allow both people and wildlife to use and enjoy the same areas while keeping to the conservation mission of the Refuge.

    The Viewing Blind on the River S' Unit remains open year-round in addition to the Oaks to Wetlands Trail on the  Carty Unit.

  • Directions

    For the Carty Unit, Refuge Office, and Plankhouse:

    Physical Address: 28908 NW Main Avenue, Ridgefield WA 98642

    Directions (when detour not in place):

    From Interstate 5 (both north and south) take Exit 14 for Pioneer Street/ Washington 501 W toward Ridgefield.

    At the exit, (from the north) turn right for NW 269th/Pioneer Street.
    At the exit, (from the south) turn left for NW 269th/Pioneer Street.

    At the traffic circle, continue on NW 269th/Pioneer Street.

    At the second traffic circle on NW 269th/Pioneer Street, continue to follow Pioneer Street.

    At Main Street, take a right. Continue on N Main for 1 mile.

    Refuge Entrance will be on the left.

     




    For River S' Unit, Auto Tour Route, and Hunter Check Station:

    Physical Address: 1071 S Hilhurst Rd, Ridgefield WA 98642

    Directions:

    From Interstate 5 (both north and south) take Exit 14 for Pioneer Street/ Washington 501 W toward Ridgefield.

    At the exit, (from the north) turn right for NW 269th/Pioneer Street.
    At the exit, (from the south) turn left for NW 269th/Pioneer Street.

    At the traffic circle stay on NW 269th/Pioneer Street.

    At the second traffic circle stay on NW 269th/Pioneer Street. Continue to follow Pioneer Street.

    At S 9th Ave to S Hillhurst Street, turn left. Continue on S Hillhurst Road.

    Refuge Entrance will be on the right.

  • Visitor Facilities

    Parking, information kiosks, and restroom facilities are located at both the Carty Unit and River S' entrances. There is also an additional restroom facility located approximently half way around the Auto Tour Route at the Viewing Blind parking lot, which is open year-round.

    There are no drinking fountains, picnic areas, or garbage cans available so please come ready to pack out what you bring in.

    Facilities are almost exclusively maintained by volunteers so please respect their hard work and leave everything as you found it.

    Note: Garbage thrown in toilets is NOT retrievable. If the toilets are filled with trash they will eventually have to be closed permanently.  Please help us keep this facility functional for everyone and take your trash home with you.

  • Activities Harmful to Wildlife

    Because this is a home for wildlife, activities that disturb wildlife are restricted.

    Please leave the following at home:
         - Bicycles, scooters, etc.
         - Horses, dogs, or any other animal 

    (Note: Dogs are permitted on the auto tour route, but must remain in the vehicle at all times and certified service animals are permitted on all trails and facilities)

         - Electric or gas-powered off-road vehicles unless needed for a disability
         - Anything used to collect plants or animals

  • Groups

    Parking areas and Auto Tour Route are wide and tall enough to accommodate RVs small buses. Pre-scheduled group tours are asked to check in with Refuge management to ensure that they are not conflicting with an already scheduled group.  Any commercial activity requires a special use permit.  

    Please contact Josie Finley for more information at 360-887-4106 or Josie_Finley@fws.gov.