Group Visits

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Large flocks are a common sight at the refuge. Look no further than the couple thousand waterfowl floating in the wetland on a winter day. We like to see flocks of people, too, but to make sure we keep this place in good shape for the wildlife, we have a few guidelines for human flocks.

Download a PDF of the information below.

Scheduling a Group Visit

What's a "Group"?

A “group” is defined as more than 15 individuals visiting the refuge together. These could include non-profit organizations, scout troops, or family get-togethers. The maximum group size authorized on the refuge is 50 people. Only one group will be permitted on the refuge at any given time.

Does this include school field trips?

Formal environmental education student field trips are managed separately. Please contact the refuge for more information.

Should our group contact the Refuge in advance?

Definitely. Please call, e-mail (, or send a letter at least 14 days before your visit and let us know your plans. The earlier you contact us, the more helpful we can be. We can advise you of special opportunities to take advantage of that day, or we can notify you of any potential conflicts with other groups.

What information do you need when we contact you?

Please tell us the name of your group, how many people are attending, what date and time you plan to arrive, how long you plan on staying , and what activities you will be doing. Also, provide a contact name, phone number, address, and email address for your group. If corresponding by e-mail, please enter “Group Reservations” in the subject line.

Is there a fee for group visits?

At this time, there is no entrance fee to the Refuge. If one is instituted in the future, it would apply to groups.

Helpful Tips for Groups

  • Use the main visitor entrance at 19255 SW Pacific Highway (99W), Sherwood, OR 97140. The entrance gate is open from dawn to dusk and will open an close automatically.
  • The maximum group size is 50 people.
  • Please carpool or consider taking public transportation; there's a bus stop right at the Refuge entrance. Due to a limited number of parking spots, groups may park no more than 15 vehicles on site.
  • When walking the trails, please break your group into smaller groups of 15 or fewer people. Stagger these smaller groups at least 150 yards apart. Move quietly and slowly. Use binoculars and spotting scopes to get a close-up view of wildlife without affecting their behavior.
  • Use pullouts and viewpoints to set up spotting scopes. This will allow your group to enjoy the view and allow other visitors to move past without leaving the trail.
  • Please stay on the trials and use them for walking only. Jogging, biking and driving are not allowed.
  • Pets are not allowed anywhere on the Refuge.
  • Restrooms are located in the parking area and in the Wildlife Center. There are no restrooms along the trails.
  • No picnic areas are provided at the Refuge.