Visitor Activities

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Visitors to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge enjoy viewing a variety of wildlife within a few minutes of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area. The Refuge landscape provides sanctuary throughout the seasons for waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, river otter, black-tailed deer, coyotes, herons, and numerous other species of wildlife. The Refuge also offers a place for people to keep in touch with their 'wild' neighbors. For many, this is a special place to learn about and appreciate the splendor of the natural areas that once occurred in abundance along the lower Columbia River.

  • Public Engagement and Volunteer Activities Postponed

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

  • Auto Tour Route

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    Review Current Access to the Auto Tour Route

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  • Trails

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    Discover which of the Refuge's Trails are Open

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  • Naturalist-Led Hikes

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    Join a Refuge volunteer naturalist for a series of hikes to sharpen your birding skills, plant id, history of the area, or even your knowledge of nocturnal animals while enjoying Refuge trails.

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  • Cathlapotle Plankhouse

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    This full-scale Chinookan-style cedar plankhouse serves as an outdoor classroom for interpreting the rich natural and cultural heritage preserved on Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.  Receive a tour from a volunteer on a weekend April through September or go to one of the many special family programs offered by the Friends of the Ridgefield NWR.

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  • Waterfowl Hunting

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    Ridgefield NWR has provided a public waterfowl hunting area since it was established in 1965. The National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act has identified hunting as a wildlife-dependent, priority public use for the National Wildlife Refuge System. Hunting is an important wildlife management tool, that while practiced in a regulated and responsible manner, does not pose a threat to wildlife populations.

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  • Wildlife Viewing Tips

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    Every season brings new discoveries at the Ridgefield NWR. The patient and frequent observer will be well rewarded with amazing wildlife observation and photographic opportunities. However knowing what to look for and how to best see these sights takes a little practice. Here are a few tips for how to make the best of your trip to the Refuge.

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