About the Refuge

About Habitat

Once the domain of homesteaders, Rydell National Wildlife Refuge now supports a diversity of wildlife in a mosaic of almost 2,200 acres of wetlands, hardwood forest, and tallgrass prairie.

The Rydell National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1992 by means of a land donation from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The Refuge’s purpose is to protect wildlife habitat and diversity, encourage waterfowl and other migratory bird production, and promote environmental education and recreation.

The hardwood forests located in and around Rydell are the most westerly maple-basswood forests in Minnesota. The intersection of forests, lakes, wetlands, and prairie makes it a great place to see nearly 200 bird species. The refuge also includes a 17-acre bog wetland. A unique aspect of the refuge, this acidic environment supports the growth of the tiny, carnivorous sundew plant. 

At least 19 farmsteads, many of them log structures, were once located on the Refuge. The Strom Building has been protected under a canopy and is located along the 7-mile trail system. We invite you to explore the natural and cultural resources of Rydell National Wildlife Refuge.