Facility Activities

Visitors to Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge can enjoy a variety of wildlife-dependent, public use activities such as hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation. Most visitors use the 15-mile auto tour route. Brochures containing area maps, public use regulations, bird species, and general information are available for other surrounding National Wildlife Refuges.

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge provides numerous recreation opportunities to visitors every year. People enjoy viewing the unique geology and diverse wildlife, whether driving, hiking, or hunting. Regulation of recreation activities allow for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats.

The cattails and bulrushes around the wetlands of Bowdoin NWR provide nesting and cover for waterfowl, and in the fall they also provide perfect cover for pheasant. In years following mild winters, hunters can find excellent hunting for pheasant on the refuge that attracts both resident and...

A trail accessible to those with disabilities including individuals in wheelchairs. These trails include a wide, hard surface without steep inclines.
Auto tour routes offer a great all-season way to see wildlife and habitats from the comfort of your car. By using your car as a viewing blind, you can often see more wildlife than you can see on foot.
Biking is a good way to see wildlife, learn about habitats and photograph nature. Yield to pedestrians; many refuge routes are multi-use trails. Biking may be permitted at sites where it is consistent with a refuge’s statutory purpose. E-bikes are permitted on any refuge roads and trails where traditional bicycle use is allowed, if it is consistent with a refuge’s statutory purpose and the refuge manager determines it to be a compatible use.
From bald eagles to spoonbills, from condors to puffins, birds abound on national wildlife refuges. Refuges provide places for birds to nest, rest, feed and breed making them world-renown for their birding opportunities.
Many sites do not allow dogs because they can disturb wildlife. Refuges that do allow dogs generally require that they be leashed. Some sites allow hunters and sledders to bring dogs.
Take your pick of 2,100 miles of refreshing trails and boardwalks. Whether you want a short, easy walk or a challenging hike, you’re likely to find what you want. Some trails are paved and universally accessible. Some trails include displays on visual arts, local history and culture or environmental education.
Whether you wield a smartphone or a zoom lens, you’ll find photo-worthy subjects at national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. Wildlife photography is a priority public use on national wildlife refuges, so you’ll find wildlife drives and blinds and overlooks to help you get the images you’re after.
Many multi-purpose trails are open to runners and joggers as well as walkers and, in some cases, bicyclists. Some sites host annual fun runs. Check individual refuge websites for details.
Many refuges champion wildlife viewing as a key recreational activity.

Trapping may occur for wildlife management purposes as designated by the manager, and under a Special Use Permit. Please contact the manager for more information.