Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge is located in west-central North Dakota, 1 mile west of Dunn Center along State Highway 200. The refuge offers wildlife observation, interpretation, photography, and fishing opportunities for birders, nature photographers and other outdoor enthusiasts. The North Shore trail is 1 mile long and begins in the Lake Ilo Park and winds along the north shore of the lake. The rolling prairie hills, rock outcroppings and wetland areas offer a scenic and serene experience of the refuge’s habitats and wildlife. The remote location provides visitors a chance to stretch their legs, clear their lungs, and immerse themselves in the peaceful sounds of nature.
We invite you to enjoy fishing, wildlife observation, photography, and interpretation opportunities on the Refuge.
Lake Ilo Park is located on the north shore of Lake Ilo, and provides visitors with picnic tables, charcoal grills, litter receptacles, and a restroom.
Two interpretive and educational displays provide opportunities to learn about key features of the Refuge. An archeological display containing a reconstructed stone tipi ring and interpretive panels is located near the trailhead, and information about the history of the Lake Ilo Dam, along with a dedication stone, is located near the spillway of the dam.
Rules and Policies
Protecting the Refuge
For the protection of wildlife, habitat and other visitors, please observe the following regulations:
- The refuge is open from 5:00am to 10:00pm.
- Vehicles must stay on designated roads.
- Plants, animals, artifacts and other natural materials are protected and may not be disturbed.
- Pets must be leashed or contained in a vehicle.
- Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuge System lands must comply with all provisions of State and local laws. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (50 CFR 27.42 and specific refuge regulations in 50 CFR Part 32).
- All litter must be packed out or disposed of in receptacles in Lake Ilo Park
- Horseback riding
- Recreational Water Sports
Not all of Lake Ilo NWR is open to the public. Please consult the Refuge map for areas open to public use. Refuge brochures can be found in the kiosks located near the Lake Ilo Park and near the Refuge boat ramp.
Lake Ilo is located 1 mile west of Dunn Center, North Dakota; along Highway 200.