Something for everyone to enjoy!

Snow Geese double photo

Des Lacs NWR offers high quality opportunities for you to enjoy wildlife- dependent recreation. Hiking trails on the Refuge offer chances to see wildlife in natural settings. In winter, these same trails offer great cross country skiing. A scenic auto tour points out historic and natural wonders of the valley. Deer and late season upland game bird hunting opportunities are described in a separate brochure available from the Des Lacs refuge headquarters.

Taskers Coulee is a unique wooded area open during daylight hours for wildlife observation and hiking.

Refuge headquarters is located one-half mile west of Kenmare on Ward County Road No. 1A. Interesting exhibits explain Refuge history and wildlife. You are invited to stop by and check current information and road conditions.

Scenic byways and backways are highways or roadways, which feature unique scenic, natural, historic, cultural, archeological and recreational qualities. It provides the opportunity for the traveling public to see and appreciate the many wonders not often seen on regularly traveled roads. State designation of scenic routes creates increased tourism, promotion of local business and increased pride in preserving the qualities that make the State of North Dakota what it is. 


Each fall, a blizzard of white descends on the Des Lacs Valley, but it isn't an early snowstorm! The Refuge has become a major migration stop for lesser snow geese and tundra swans. The city of Kenmare holds an annual GOOSEFEST to celebrate the spectacle. Thousands of ducks and shorebirds complement the goose migration. This is an excellent setting to view bird concentrations found few places in the United States.