Facility Rules and Policies

There are lots of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do and enjoy at Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. When in doubt about rules or regulations regarding a specific activity, please check with the Fort Niobrara NWR office before participating in that activity. Be safe and have fun!

To protect the wildlife, habitats, and historic resources of Fort Niobrara NWR and to make your visit more enjoyable, the following regulations are strictly enforced:

  • The Refuge is open to the public during daylight hours only.
  • Vehicles must stay on designated, graveled roadways. 
  • River floating on the Refuge is allowed downstream from Cornell Dam only. No more than five float tubes carrying a maximum of eight people can be tied together.
  • Fishing is allowed on the Minnechaduza Creek and along the Niobrara River downstream from Cornell Dam.

Prohibited items and activities include: 

  • alcoholic beverages;  
  • fireworks; 
  • high volume radios;
  • any device capable of shooting or directing a projectile or liquid at another person or wildlife;
  • camping;
  • open pit fires;
  • Hunting without a permit (See Refuge Hunting Regulations). 
  • extreme sports such as ice climbing, rock climbing, and sport rappelling;
  • and collecting plants, animals, rocks, antlers, or historical artifacts.

Firearms and other weapons are subject to state law. At all times, persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuge System lands must comply with all provisions of State and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (50 CFR 27.42 and specific refuge regulations in 50 CFR Part 32), i.e., only during the lawful pursuit of game during legal seasons.