Facility Activities

Visitors can enjoy Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge in a variety of ways. From viewing wildlife from afar to getting on your feet and snowshoeing in the winter, there will always be different ways of discovering nature.

Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge was established in 2012 and now includes two tracts of land. Both tracts are open to their respective state seasons and regulations. An 86-acre tract just north of Genoa City, Wisconsin, includes forest, restored prairie and wetlands. A 27-acre tract 3.5 miles...

Established in 2012 to restore and connect a landscape that includes large blocks of grasslands, wet prairies and natural stream watercourses, Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge is just beginning to acquire parcels of land. The refuge includes two tracts of land. Both are open to their...

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.
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.
Fishing is available at 378 units (343 national wildlife refuges and 35 wetland management districts) of the National Wildlife Refuge System, almost 20 national fish hatcheries and other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters. Virtually every type of sport fishing is represented. Anglers must follow state and federal regulations. Check individual sites for season dates and size, day and possession limits.
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.

Hunting is available at almost 400 national wildlife refuges, more than 35 wetland management districts and almost 20 national fish hatcheries. Hunting is a priority public use at national wildlife refuges. Wildlife hunting is subject to sustainable limits and sometimes used as a management tool...

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.

Nearly 12 million people visit outdoor areas each year to photograph wildlife, and refuge lands naturally are at the top of the list. Kankakee offers excellent opportunities for beginning and expert photographers alike.

A few sites allow picnicking at designated areas.

Refuge lands across the country provide visitors opportunities to make their own connections to the natural world. Self-guided hikes and staff-led programs help visitors learn more about the wildlife and habitats behind the landscapes. Stay tuned for more information!

Many multi-purpose trails are open to runners and joggers as well as walkers and, in some cases, bicyclists. Some sites host annual fun runs. Check individual refuge websites for details.

The Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge work with many different partners on events and activities throughout the year. Annual events include Bald Eagle viewing (January), World Migratory Bird Day celebrations (April), Monarch Mania (August), and National Wildlife Refuge Week...

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.

Explore the grasslands and woodlands of Hackmatack with your binoculars or camera. During spring and fall, look for migrating ducks, songbirds, and raptors. Summer brings an abundance of colorful wildflowers, butterflies, and dragonflies. In winter, look for tracks and signs of wildlife in the...