Rules and Regulations

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

Public use of refuge lands, facilities, and parking lots is permitted during daylight hours only.

The majority of the refuge is designated as a wildlife sanctuary and closed to all public access from March 1 - August 31 to allow wildlife to breed and raise their young free from human disturbance. During this time the only areas available for public use are the Wildlife Drive, the hiking trails, the St. Francis River canoe route, and fishing access points.

The Prairie’s Edge Wildlife Drive is open from spring through winter closure. The Blue Hill and Mahnomen Hiking Trails are open all year, and available for cross-country skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing during winter months. Hikers and snowshoers are asked to be respectful of tracks set by skiers and hike to the side of the trail. 

Dogs and other pets must be kept on a leash at all times. This is strictly enforced for the protection of the visiting public and the protection of animal and plant habitat. Find out why

Commercial still photography is allowed and does not require a Special Use Permit. Refuge regulations must be followed while conducting commercial still photography. Additionally, sets and props, promotion, and blocking public spaces are not permitted while conducting commercial still photography. Sets and props include, but are not limited to, backdrops, lighting banks, horses, camping equipment, campfires, couches, and so forth, when used to stage a specific scene. The use of a camera on a tripod, without the use of any other equipment, is not considered a prop. Images captured at the refuge cannot be used to promote or sell a product or service. Photos taken on the refuge, including wedding and senior photos, cannot be used on business cards, brochures, websites, social media, or displays.

All commercial filming requires a Special Use Permit. Reference the Permits page for more information. 

Camping, overnight parking, or open fires are not permitted. 

Horses, dog sleds, skijoring, electric bikes, snowmobiles, and all other off-road utility vehicles (ORUV) are not permitted on hiking trails or refuge roads, including on the Wildlife Drive. 

Drones prohibited; launching, landing, or disturbing wildlife by aircraft (drones) on the refuge is prohibited.

For more detailed information and a refuge map, download the Public Use Regulations and Map or the Hunting Regulations and Map.