Erie National Wildlife Refuge consists of two separate land divisions. Sugar Lake Division lies 10 miles east of Meadville on the outskirts of Guys Mills village. The Seneca Division is about 10 miles north of Sugar Lake Division or four miles southeast of Cambridge Springs, PA.

Visit Us

National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. More than 40% of Erie National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of wetland habitats, including beaver ponds, emergent marshes, wet meadows, forested wetlands, and creeks that provide desirable habitat for a variety of migratory birds and waterfowl.  The refuge is just under an hour drive from the city of Erie, Pennsylvania.  

The refuge includes several scenic trails that pass through upland forest, forested wetlands, and wet shrublands. Our Visitor Information Center is located at our headquarters, where visitors can purchase Duck stamps. From headquarters, visitors can access the 1.2-mile Tsuga Trail which winds through a variety of habitats including dense, hemlock thickets, mixed hardwood forests, meadows, and wetlands.  Other public uses at the Sugar Lake Division include a waterfowl and wildlife observation blind located at Reitz Pond, the observation deck located along the Deer Run Trail, and the fishing pier located at the Deer Run trailhead. 

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      Erie National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1959. The first lands for the refuge were purchased with funds provided from the sale of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (also known as Duck stamps). Erie refuge is a namesake of the Erie Indians, a Native American tribe that resided in the area.

      What We Do

      Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
      A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

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      is established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species.

      Our Species

      Erie is the only refuge in the nation protecting endangered northern riffleshell and clubshell mussels. French Creek, the most biologically diverse stream in Pennsylvania, flows near the Refuge where over 80 species of native fish are found.

      Bald eagle up close with wing raised

      A large raptor, the bald eagle has a wingspread of about seven feet. Adults have a dark brown body and wings, white head and tail, and a yellow beak. Juveniles are mostly brown with white mottling on the body, tail, and undersides of wings. Adult plumage usually is obtained by the sixth year. In...

      FWS Focus
      A group of about ten mussels being held partially out of the water by a pair of cupped hands

      The northern riffleshell is a small to medium size (up to 3 inches long) freshwater mussel that was listed as endangered, without critical habitat, in 1993 (58 FR 5638-5642). Its shell exterior is brownish yellow to yellowish green with fine green rays. The shell interior is typically white. The...

      Get Involved

      Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. National wildlife refuges provide many opportunities for you to help your community and fish and wildlife by doing what you love.

      Projects and Research

      The work that we conduct at the refuge focuses on understanding the needs of endangered species; developing strategies to combat climate change climate change
      Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

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      impacts; and habitat management for a variety of species, including migratory birds. 

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is evaluating creation of a new national wildlife refuge to conserve currently unprotected, high priority fish and wildlife habitats in northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York.

      In collaboration with landowners, outdoor enthusiasts, conservation partners, and local communities, the Service proposes to identify lands for...