Facility Activities

Plum Island is open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend annually for wildlife observation, nature photography, hiking and viewing of historical Coast Guard structures. Interpretive programs are offered seasonally by the Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands.

Archery demonstrations and lessons may be a part of local site programming. Some refuges and hatcheries permit bow-hunting with other hunting. This activity is typically limited. Check locally for how to apply.
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.
Boats provide the best way to see many refuges. Some refuges limit the use of motorboats to certain areas, subject to restrictions on engine size.
Many Fish and Wildlife Service sites make great destinations for flatwater canoeing or kayaking. Some sites have concessions that rent canoes or kayaks. Some sites offer scheduled paddle tours. See individual refuge websites for details.
Many sites do not allow dogs because they can disturb wildlife. Refuges that do allow dogs generally require that they be leashed. Some sites allow hunters and sledders to bring dogs.
While traditional geocaching (the burial or removal of "treasure") is generally not permitted at national wildlife refuges because it disturbs wildlife habitat, virtual geocaching may be allowed. In this variant, GPS coordinates lead to points of interest, such as cultural sites or exhibits, that participants can check off on a list.

Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge consists of Hog Island, Plum Island, Pilot Island, St. Martin Island, Rocky Island and a parcel on Detroit Island. The islands are in Lake Michigan near Washington Island between the tip of Wisconsin’s Door County Peninsula and Michigan’s Garden Peninsula....

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.

Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge consists of Hog Island, Plum Island, Pilot Island, St. Martin Island, Rocky Island and a parcel on Detroit Island. The islands are in Lake Michigan, near Washington Island, between the tip of Wisconsin's Door County Peninsula and Michigan’s Garden Peninsula....

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.
Diving opportunities are great at national wildlife refuges in Puerto Rico and the Hawaiian islands.
Many refuges champion wildlife viewing as a key recreational activity.