Visitor Activities

  • Hunting

    Hunting check - Brett Billings/USFWS.

    Many of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish & Wildlife Refuge divisions and units offer hunting in accordance with state regulations. Visit our hunting page to learn more about where to hunt on the refuge.

    Hunting Page

  • Fishing

    Fishing derby - USFWS.

    Many of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish & Wildlife Refuge divisions and units offer fishing in accordance with state regulations. Visit our fishing page to learn more about where to fish on the refuge.

    Fishing Page

  • Wildlife Viewing & Photography

    Visitors to the refuge - Patrick Comins.


    Visitors may view and photograph wildlife in a variety of settings such as along the forty miles of gravel roads, walking along wooded pathways, following stream courses, or while hiking in the deep woods. Many areas on the division provide scenic vistas of the Nulhegan Basin and the surrounding mountains. Visitors can access the Division's lands and vistas by passenger vehicle, snowmobile, or on foot (or cross country skis or snowshoes in winter) to enjoy wildlife observation and photography.


    Most visitors come to the Refuge because it is well known as a place to see moose, bear, a multitude of breeding birds, and spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges. People can hike, ski, or snowshoe anywhere on the refuge to view and photograph wildlife, flowers, and the scenery. At this time there are two primitive trails on the refuge. Cherry Pond is linked to Little Cherry Pond by a loop trail that winds through a forested bog community. A series of bog bridges were installed by the Friends of Pondicherry to protect the saturated bog soils. The second trail is a section of the Cohos Regional Trail. It enters the refuge from the east off Whipple Road, leads to Cherry Pond, then exits near Highway 115 in the southeast corner.

     Fort River

    The mile-long, fully accessible trail at Fort River allows visitors an up-close and personal look at diverse wildlife and habitats. The trail meanders through a series of successional habitats from grasslands to upland forest and provides important habitat for fish, grassland birds and a variety of herps and mammal species. The Fort River Division is located at 69 Moody Bridge Road, Hadley, Massachusetts.

    View the Fort River Division Brochure

    Wildlife viewing and photography are also allowed on most of the other divisions and units of the refuge. Please contact the refuge manager at (413) 548-8002 Ext. 112 to inquire about specific locations.

  • Interpretation

    Nature talk - Brett Billings/USFWS.

    National wildlife refuges across the country provide opportunities for visitors to make their own connections to the natural world. Self-guided hikes and staff-led programs help visitors learn more about the wildlife and habitats behind the landscapes. The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge provides a variety of public programs throughout the year. Programs and events are free, geared for youth and adults and provide a range of opportunities that maximize first-hand experiences. For current programs, visit our Events Calendar.

  • Environmental Education

    Environmental education on the refuge - USFWS.

    The Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge offers a wide diversity of environmental education opportunities for schools, teachers, youth groups, and families. For more information, visit the For Educators page.