Visitor Activities

Man and boy bird watching.
  • Hunting


    Each year the refuge holds a managed waterfowl hunt. Hunters are invited to participate in weekly lottery drawings for river scramble areas and one location. The waterfowl hunt takes place in October. There are no additional fees other than those required by the state of Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The waterfowl hunt is subject to Michigan state and refuge-specific regulations. Scout the hunt areas in September during Open House. More information will be posted as the hunting season draws near. 


    White-tailed hunts are available through lottery on the refuge. Hunters may participate in archery, shotgun and muzzleloader hunts. The managed deer hunt is subject to Michigan state and refuge-specific regulations. More information will be posted as new regulations are being developed.

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  • Fishing

    Photography (Photo Credit Remington Kissack)

    Fishing is allowed by boat from navigable waterways within the refuge. Boaters are not allowed to cross into marsh or pool units or anchor on any refuge dikes. Bank fishing is allowed on the Tittabawassee River at Green Point Environmental Learning Center and the Woodland Trail at Stroebel Road. Anglers must hike to both of these sites since neither are accessible by vehicle. Anglers may also want to try the Cass River Boat Launch and Fishing Access site off Highway M -13. 

    Possible fish species include: walleye, bluegill, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, black bullhead, channel catfish, freshwater drum and white sucker.

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  • Wildlife Viewing

    Group viewing wildlife.

    Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge’s diverse habitats attract more than 270 species of migratory birds. Its three main trails and seasonal auto tour route, the Wildlife Drive, offer visitors an opportunity to see many of these birds as well as a variety of other wildlife. The Ferguson Bayou Trail and Wildlife Drive offer three wildlife observation decks, two with spotting scopes.

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  • Interpretation

    Interpretation - kids with bear faces.

    Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge annually sponsors a Kids Free Fishing Day in early June. The date typically falls during Michigan’s free fishing weekend.

    The annual Refuge Open House is held during the month of September. During this weekend only, the entire refuge is open to hiking, bicycling and deer scouting during daylight hours.

  • Environmental Education

    EE by Denecia K. Grant

    Green Point Environmental Learning Center at 3010 Maple Street in Saginaw offers environmental education programs for students of all ages. During the summer months, children can borrow a fishing pole and practice catch and release fishing in Green Point’s pond. When there is enough snow on the ground, snowshoes are available to use on the trails. 

  • Photography

    Photography (Thai-Hoa Le)

    Two of the most photogenic species that visitors encounter are great egret and wood duck. Great egrets are common along the Wildlife Drive from June until September. However, July through September is when they are most abundant at the refuge when hundreds can be seen in a day. Wood ducks are best found along the Wildlife Drive and Ferguson Bayou Trail from May to October as well. Females with broods of ducklings can be spotted in June and July, but this species is most abundant from August through October.

    A blind is located on the north east portion of the Ferguson Bayou Trail. This one is open on a first come, first served basis, during daylight hours.