person wearing yellow shirt and red hard hat carrying a drip torch and fire in the background
Prescribed Burn Plans on Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) announces plans to conduct up to six (6) prescribed burns on the Refuge during the 2024 season. The goal this year is to burn up to 130 acres of grasslands and 30 acres of cattail marsh. The result will be enhanced grassland nesting cover and improved marsh habitat for a variety of migratory birds and other wildlife. For additional information, please refer to our news release here.

Visit Us

National Wildlife Refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. Teeming with wildlife and wild lands the refuge offers opportunities for the public to experience nature during all seasons.


It’s a bike! It’s a boat! It’s skis and snowshoes! Whether you are searching for that secretive marsh bird, looking for tranquility in the calm of the refuge, or just trying to get some fresh air and exercise, the refuge has endless opportunities for you to recreate. The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset for your enjoyment.


Nesting is a critical time for our wildlife. From March 1 - September 30, please stay on trails, overlooks, and in public fishing areas. All other areas of the refuge are closed to public entry.

Feeder Road Trail 

Feeder Road 

Open for: Hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, wildlife observation and photography.

Access: Open year-round, sunrise to sunset. Vehicles are permitted between Route 77 and the gate at the half-way point from October 1 - end of February.  Please stay on the trail. Bikes and vehicles are not allowed on adjacent dikes. Access to wetland areas for hiking or walking is prohibited year round.  Only service vehicles are allowed beyond the gated area.

Length: 3.5 miles one way (7 miles round trip) 

Originally, this trail was made from the spoils of digging the Feeder Canal in 1823. The canal connected water from the Tonawanda Creek to Oak Orchard Creek in order to improve its flow into the Erie Canal in Medina. It is the longest hiking trail on the Refuge. In order to access the southern part of the trail, park at the Kanyoo Trail parking lot and follow the grass pathway to the west. This will lead visitors to a gravel path that goes through wetlands, forest, and grasslands. You can also access the trail from the north parking lot off of Dunlop Road. On Feeder Road, it is common to hear a wide variety of songbirds and marsh birds and to see different shorebirds, waterfowl, and bald eagles.

This trail also includes an audio guide which can be followed using the posted signs.

Kanyoo Nature Trail in Winter

Kanyoo Nature Trail 

Open: Year-round, sunrise to sunset for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, wildlife observation and photography

Length (including a 250ft boardwalk): Yellow - .66 mile loop; Blue - 1.0 mile loop 

This trail, off of Route 77, consists of two loops that are 0.66 miles (yellow markers) and 1 mile (blue markers).  The pathway is made from dirt and gravel and is surrounded by wildflowers and fungi, such as trillium and turkey tail, respectively. The trail leads visitors through mixed forests and vernal wetlands. Along the yellow trail there is an observation platform that is nestled in the trees overlooking the marsh. The blue trail offers a boardwalk so you are able to walk through the marsh at the Mohawk Pool. 

Swallow Hollow Nature Trail

Swallow Hollow Trail 

Open: Year-round, sunrise to sunset for hiking, wildlife observation, photography

Length: 1.3 mile loop (includes 2,000 foot boardwalk) 

Located on Knowlesville Road, this loop trail that takes visitors through marsh, forested wetlands, and upland habitat. On the elevated boardwalk and gravel trail, you will have the opportunity to view unique wetland species that are listed on educational panels along the route. Warblers are common visitors of this path and can be seen in the late spring and summer on the trail. You also may catch a glimpse of a snapping turtle, pileated woodpecker, or white-tailed deer.

This trail also includes an audio guide which can be followed using the posted signs. 

Onondaga Nature Trail

Onondaga Nature Trail 

Open: Year-round, sunrise to sunset for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, wildlife observation, photography

Length: 1.2 miles one way (2.4 miles round trip)

Off of Sour Springs Road (approach from Roberts Road), lies Onondaga Trail. This trail provides visitors with the chance to see diverse wildlife. A quiet walker will be rewarded with a variety of songbirds, waterfowl, and mammals. The dirt and gravel dike trail leads you past Onondaga Marsh and into mixed forests with evergreen plantations that predate the refuge. In the spring, wood ducks and hooded mergansers like to make their nests in provided nest boxes. A side loop offers a weaving path around a small vernal (seasonal) pool.   

Vehicle access to Onondaga Trail is only from the south, off of Roberts Road.

Please note: Sour Springs Road is not maintained in the winter months and therefore this parking lot may not be accessible by vehicle. However, the trail remains open year round. Sour Springs Road is not a through road for vehicles as there is only a pedestrian/snowmobile bridge across Oak Orchard Creek.

Headquarters Nature Trail

Headquarters (HQ) Nature Trail 

Open: Year-round, sunrise to sunset, for hiking, wildlife observation and photography

Length: 1.1 mile loop 

Headquarters trail starts at the kiosk outside the Visitor Center located off of Casey Road. At just over 1 mile, this loop trail winds its way through grasslands, forested habitat, and marshland. The gravel trail is ADA accessible and provides an easy stroll with ample opportunity for wildlife observation. You may see purple martins catching dragonflies to feed their young, a resident opossum meandering through the trees, wood ducks on the pond, and butterflies pollinating the goldenrod.


Mohawk Ski Trail

Mohawk Ski Trail 

Open seasonally for: cross-country skiing and snowshoeing conditions permitting. 

Length: 7.5 miles (round trip) loop.  

Mohawk Ski trail is the primary means to ski on the refuge. It is a relatively flat 7.5 mile loop through the grasslands, forests, and along the dikes surrounding Mohawk Pool. The trail begins at the Visitor Center on Casey Road. Trails are not groomed regularly by staff and obstructions to the trails are to be expected. Portions of the trail run along Feeder Road and through HQ and Kanyoo Nature Trails to create the loop. Mohawk Ski Trail closes for the season on March 1st to minimize disturbances to nesting and resting wildlife. 

Oak Orchard Creek Water Trail

Oak Orchard Creek Water Trail 

Open: Year-round as conditions allow for canoes, kayaks, non-motorized boats. 

Length: 5.5 miles (one-way); shorter routes available depending on launch point. 

A unique way of enjoying the refuge is by exploring the primitive beauty of Oak Orchard Creek. The creek is open to paddlers from Knowlesville Road to Route 63 and is approximately 5.5 miles one-way (11 miles RT). We suggest launching from Knowlesville Road, but you are also able to launch at Sour Springs Road and Route 63 (be careful for passing traffic).

This waterway is not groomed regularly, so expect variable water levels and obstructions including beaver dams and downed trees as you travel through the wooded swamp. 

View from Cayuga Overlook

Cayuga Overlook

This overlook, located off of Route 77 and half a mile north of the Kanyoo Trail, offers views Cayuga Pool. From the observation deck you may be able to see resident bald eagles, green winged teal, great egrets, and shorebirds. The deck can provide shelter from windy winters or the hot summer sun. There are locations to mount your scope or take a seat and enjoy the view.

View from Mallard Overlook

Mallard Overlook

Located on Sour Springs Road, (access from Oak Orchard Ridge Road only) on the east side of Ringneck Marsh, Mallard Overlook gives a different perspective of Ringneck Marsh. This overlook boasts views of osprey and waterfowl. You can hear the song of orange crowned warblers and the pounding of downy woodpeckers which favor the trees around this quiet location.

Vehicle access to Mallard Overlook  is only from the north, off of Oak Orchard Ridge Road.

Please note: Sour Springs Road is not maintained during the winter months and therefore this overlook may not be accessible by vehicle. It is, however, still open to the public by foot.  Sour Springs Road is not a through road for vehicles as there is only a pedestrian/snowmobile bridge across Oak Orchard Creek. 

View from Ringneck Marsh Overlook

Ringneck Marsh Overlook

Just off of Oak Orchard Ridge Road and half a mile east of Route 63, Ringneck Marsh Overlook offers opportunities to see great blue herons, mallards, geese, and maybe even ringneck ducks for which the marsh is named. If lucky, in the spring you could see osprey and bald eagles battle it out for possession of the nest on the island. When viewed from the north, the marsh provides a picturesque view of its brilliant seasonal colors. 

Schoolhouse Marsh Overlook

Schoolhouse Marsh Overlook

A quarter of a mile east of the Ringneck Marsh Overlook on the north side of Oak Orchard Ridge Road is a small overlook with views of Schoolhouse Marsh. Named for the schoolhouse that once existed in this location, it is a great spot to view shorebirds, American wigeon, and discreet marsh birds.

Related Documents


This is a general map of the refuge. For information specific to activities please refer to fact sheets above.

Other Facilities in the Complex

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Complex. A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas, or other refuge conservation areas that are primarily managed from a central office location. Refuges are grouped into a complex structure structure
Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish cleaning table, satellite dish/mount, or well head.

Learn more about structure
because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed or specific habitat type, and have a related purpose and management need. Typically a project leader or complex manager oversees the general management of all refuges within the complex and refuge managers are responsible for operations at specific refuges. Supporting staff, composed of administrative, law enforcement, refuge manager, biological, visitor services, and maintenance professionals, can be centrally located and help to support all refuges within the complex.

Also, the Lower Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office as well as an office from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation are co-located with the refuge.

Rules and Policies

  • No fees required to access trails and overlooks. Check the specific activities pages for regulations and permitting information regarding hunting, trapping, and fishing.
  • Trails, overlooks, and fishing areas are open from sunrise to sunset year-round.  Note, during winter months trails are not cleared of snow.
  • Overnight parking, camping, campfires/grills are not allowed. 
  • The Refuge is "carry in -- carry out" and has no picnic facilities. Please take all of your litter with you to dispose of properly.  
  • Please, keep all pets on a leash no longer than 10 feet at all times and must be under the control of a person. Be considerate of other visitors and clean up after your pet.
  • The use of drones is not allowed on the refuge.


Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
1101 Casey RoadBasom,NY14013-9730

The refuge is located between the Oak Orchard and Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Areas.

The refuge office is located at 1101 Casey Road, Basom ,NY.

Driving Directions

From the New York State Thruway (I-90) take exit 48-A (Pembroke/Medina). Go north on Route 77 for approximately eight miles. At the four-way stop light in the town of Alabama, continue straight for one more mile to Casey Road. Turn left on Casey Road. The Visitor Center and administration office are one mile west.  

When using a GPS unit or Google Maps Navigation app to guide you to the Visitor Center please ensure you are being directed to the Iroquois Refuge Admin Building. Ensure the pin is actually on Casey Road and not in the middle of the Refuge or some other road. 

See our interactive map to find the best route to the Refuge for you. 

Visitor Center Hours
Tuesday- Saturday
Nature Trails and Overlooks
Sunrise - Sunset