Plan Your Visit

Canoeing the Refuge

There is a special feeling about this place, best expressed by the eerie howl of a wolf, mournful wail of a loon or the drumming of a ruffed grouse from deep within the forest.


Directions, Address & Contact Info

Uniquely located in North Central Minnesota where the pines meet the prairie, Tamarac Refuge can be found just 18 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes, MN or 25 miles west of Park Rapids, MN.

Contact Us:

Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge
35704 County Hwy 26, Rochert, MN 56578
Phone: 218-847-2641  Email: 

Current happenings can be found on the Tamarac Refuge facebook page.

Visitor Services & Education Programs: Kelly Blackledge (218) 844-1757

Volunteer Coordinator: Janice Bengtson (218) 844-1756

Points of Interest

Escape to the wilderness at this 43,000-acre wildlife Refuge. A visitor center and wildlife drive offer spectacular vistas of the pristine lakes and marshes that host an abundance of wildlife. Enjoy hiking trails, historic sites, hunting and fishing.

Visitor Center

The Visitor Center offers great views, active bird feeders, theater, and current wildlife watching information. 

Hours:  Monday - Friday 8:00am-4:00pm year round

Jan 1- May 15 -  Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00, 1st & 3rd Sundays 10:00am - 5:00pm

May 15- Oct 15 - Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00, Saturday & Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm 

Oct 15 - Jan 1 -  Monday-Friday 8:00-4:00 

Holidays: Open 4th of July, Closed all other Federal Holidays. 

Blackbird Wildlife Drive

This five mile self-guided drive traverses through forests and lakes edges with spectacular views. There is an observation platform that overlooks Blackbird Lake. This is a narrow one way drive beginning on Highway 26 just a few miles east of the visitor center. The drive is open April 15- December 15 (road conditions permitting).   

Old Indian Hiking Trail

On the Old Indian Hiking Trail you’ll follow in the footsteps of the Ojibwe people and experience the beauty of the maple basswood forest. This 2.4 mile loop trail is accessed from County Hwy 29.  


Know Before You Go

When planning a trip to the Refuge, it is important to dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes for walking. Bring water, snacks, binoculars, field guides, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and a camera. 

The refuge lands are open 5:00 am to 10:00pm

Pets are welcome, however must be leashed or kept under control at all times. Trapping does occur on portions of the refuge for wildlife management purposes through the winter months and pets, especially dogs, could unintentionally be caught.

Download a Refuge Map