Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we encourage you to:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information
  • Follow current CDC safe practices by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick


  • Path along the Detroit River at Humbug Marsh_Winnie_Chrzanowski_Photo_Credit

    Keep the Refuge Gateway Beautiful

    You can help keep the scene clean and green! Pro Tips: If you pack it in, pack it out and stay on designated trails and boardwalks.

    Refuge Gateway welcomes public for limited day use

  • Mexico Monarchs AnnMarie Krmpotich/USFWS

    Monarchs On the Move

    Our monarchs are migrating to their wintering grounds in Mexico.

    Track their progress.

  • graphic of birds in flight representing Byways to Flyways

    Byways to Flyways

    Habitat and wildlife found along the Detroit River and Western Lake Erie offer world class opportunities for birding enthusiasts!

    Get Started


2021 Eagle Tour Canceled

Bald Eagle Flying across Blue Sky

Our longtime partner DTE has decided to cancel the 2021 Eagle Tour. Here is their statement. "At DTE, we put the health and safety of people first. With that in mind we have decided to cancel the 2021 Bald Eagle Tour at our Monroe Power Plant due to the spike in COVID-19 cases locally and nationally. The nature of this event makes it difficult to follow safety guidelines like social distancing, which places the safety of participants and volunteers at risk. We are hopeful we will be able to resume co-hosting this event with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2022, so we can continue to share the rare experience of viewing our overwintering population of bald eagles with the public." For local viewing options, check out Dingell Park (Ecorse, Lake Erie Metropark (Brownstown), Crosswinds Marsh (New Boston), and Belle Isle (Detroit).

Become an Agent of Discovery

Agents of Discovery Cartoon Opossum Mascot with USFWS hat, round glasses and a backpack full of babies

Hey Kids! Become an Agent of Discovery and explore the Refuge while you complete exciting missions! Download the free AGENTS OF DISCOVERY app to complete interactive mission challenges around the Refuge Gateway. More about Agents of Discovery

More about Agents of Discovery

Refuge Units Open to the Public

Grassy trail along wooden split rail fence Photo credit: Winnie Chrzanowski/USFWS Volunteer

A walk in nature is a great way to get some fresh air and spend time with your family, while practicing social distancing. Gibraltar Bay, Fix, and Strong Units are open daily, dawn to dusk. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, the Refuge Gateway and Humbug Marsh are open Thursday through Sunday during daylight hours. Directions to the Gibraltar Bay, Fix, Strong and Humbug Marsh Units

Directions to the Gibraltar Bay, Fix, Strong and Humbug Marsh Units

Visit Us Via the Downriver Linked Greenway Trails

Looking straight down legs to shoes on leafy trail Photo credit Arthem Beliaikin Creative Commons

Did you know you can bicycle, walk or kayak to the Refuge Gateway via the North South Trail and Heritage Water Trail? Whether you enjoy walking, biking, jogging, or paddling, the Downriver Linked Greenway has a trail for everyone! Since 1998, Downriver Linked Greenways has helped to facilitate over 75 miles of trails in the Downriver Region of Metropolitan Detroit. The current trail network includes over 100 miles of both water and land trails that reach within a half-mile of every home and connects millions of residents to each other across Downriver. Map and Information about the Downriver Trail System

Map and Information about the Downriver Trail System

Visitor Center Closed but Grounds Are Open!

Front entrance of the John D. Dingell Jr. Visitor Center with grassy in foreground and blue sky behind

While the John D. Dingell Jr. Visitor Center remains closed for construction, the grounds around the facility are open for self guided visitation Thursdays - Sundays. The front gate will be open during daylight hours (Current gate hours are 7:30 am - 5:30 pm). There are no trash cans on-site. Please pack all litter, including doggie "presents" out with you!

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS