The Detroit River has long served the United States and Canada as a vital transportation corridor and center for industries that helped forge the economies of both nations. As a result of this growth, the river and its ecosystem have paid a high price for human progress. Indeed, in our mind and in reality, most of what was natural in and around the Detroit River is gone. Yet special places exist alongside the concrete, steel, and groomed gardens of this vast metropolitan area, North America's only international wildlife refuge. A place where wildlife and humans can meet. Come and connect with nature!

Looking towards the front entrance of a new facility with stone and red siding, large concrete walkway in foreground, small metal blue goose wind vanes on top of the facility against a blue sky with white puffy clouds
Visitor Center Hours

Current John D Dingell Jr. Visitor Center Hours

  • Hours: Thursday - Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Phone number: 734 - 365 - 0219
  • Information Desk
  • Nature Store - accepts cash and credit
  • Equipment lending: Binoculars, fishing poles with tackle boxes, explorer pack
  • Indoor restrooms during the above hours
  • Outdoor restrooms open daily from dusk to dawn
  • America the Beautiful Passes (cash and check only - no credit )

Visitor Center parking lots and hiking trails are open daily, dusk to dawn.

Visit Us

Nature is nearby at Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. There are so many options for refuge activities that it will be hard to choose just one. So, visit often and tell your friends about the neat experiences and the skills you developed. Maybe they will join you on your next visit!

The John D. Dingell Jr. Visitor Center at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is now open Thursday – Sunday. The hours are as follow Thursday - Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Want us to be open more often? Join us as a Front Desk Greeter and Nature Store Volunteer by emailing us at

The grounds around the facility are open for self-guided visitation seven days a week during daylight hours. The site is located at 5437 West Jefferson Ave., Trenton, MI 48183. There are no trash cans on-site. Please pack all litter, including doggie "presents" out with you!

Location and Contact Information

      Our Species

      Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge habitats support 300 species of birds including 30 species of waterfowl, 23 species of raptors and 31 species of shorebirds. More than three million waterfowl migrate through the Great Lakes annually. American black ducks gather in the marshes of western Lake Erie before completing their fall journey south. Migrating canvasbacks rest and feed on beds of wild celery in the lower Detroit River. Wood ducks, mallards and blue-winged teal nest in the area, and a wide variety of wading birds and shorebirds reside within the refuge boundary during the summer months. 

      Our Library

      Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Hunt Brochure

      Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIWR) was established in 2001 to preserve the Lower Detroit River and Western Lake Erie. DRIWR is within an hour’s drive of nearly seven million people in the Detroit, Michigan; Windsor, Ontario; and Toledo, Ohio metropolitan areas. The refuge’s...

      Detroit River International Wildlife Current Volunteer Opportunities

      The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge relies upon volunteers to perform many important jobs, but the most important thing you can do for us, and in turn for wildlife, is to be our wildlife ambassadors to the public. Uninformed visitors to the refuge may unintentionally do things that...