Facility Activities


Fishing is allowed from the shoreline. A free New York state salt water fishing license is required. Common fish species include striped bass, weakfish, Atlantic mackerel, flounder, bluefish, tautog, ling and eel blowfish.

Wildlife Viewing

Morton Refuge is an ideal spot for wildlife watching. Most visitors enjoy watching wildlife while hiking the Wild Birds Nature Trail. Wildlife have become acclimated to visitors and often go about their day without a second glance. Eastern wild turkeys, songbirds and chipmunks all can be seen along the wooded sections of the trail. Osprey can be seen flying overhead hunting for fish in the bay. In the winter, large groups of black ducks, bufflehead and common goldeneye can be seen floating in the bay. An elevated platform at the beach allows visitors an outstanding view of Little Peconic Bay, Noyack Bay and Jessup’s Neck Peninsula’s wildlife species.


Interactive, family-oriented activities are usually offered on Saturdays during the summer months. Occasional guided walks are offered during the course of the year. Please check the events web page for dates and times.

Environmental Education

Morton National Wildlife Refuge is in the process of developing a suite of curriculum-based, environmental education programs for various grade levels. Check back soon for updates.

Groups can contact our general email account to inquire about program opportunities. 


As with wildlife observation, most visitors focus their cameras on the wildlife found in the forest. Yet there are plenty of photographic moments to be found on the beach too, including harbor seals in March!!

Refuge waters include Noyack Bay and Little Peconic Bay, with two miles of shoreline. Available species include striped bass, weakfish, flounder, bluefish and tautog. Portions of the beach are closed from April 1 to August 31 each year to protect beach-nesting birds.

Looking for seashells is a popular pastime at many coastal Fish and Wildlife Service sites. But some ban collecting of anything, including empty seashells. Some states, like Florida, prohibit removing any live creatures.
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 refuges in the country's northern tier have backcountry trails that can be used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in season. Some refuges lend gear or rent it at low cost.
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.
Painting and sketching in nature is possible at nearly all sites open to the public. Sometimes, sites host public displays of artworks created on the refuge.
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.
A few sites allow picnicking at designated areas.
Rangers lead wildlife walks, tours and educational programs at many sites. Events may focus on wildflowers or birds or on seasonal spectacles, such as elk bugling or sea turtle nesting. Some programs may be limited in size or require advance registration. See individual websites for details.
School program activities are available at a number of facilities.
Many refuges in the country's northern tier have backcountry trails that can be used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in season. Some refuges loan out gear or rent it at low cost.
Many refuges champion wildlife viewing as a key recreational activity.