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 Open Thursday - Sunday

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 9:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Friday 9:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Saturday 12:30 – 4:00 p.m.; Sunday 9:00 – 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!

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!

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.