Facility Activities

Mingo National Wildlife Refuge provides several great opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. The mixture of bottomland forests, wetlands and swamps creates great waterways for canoeing and kayaking while also being great wildlife observation, hunting and fishing areas.

Big game hunting was expanded in 2015.At Mingo NWR, turkeys regularly traverse in water up to their chests and often roost in completely different areas each night. Their behavior may be unusual, but one thing is certain -there are a lot of them. The refuge is also a destination for deer hunters...

Available species include largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. No motors are allowed.

Auto tour routes offer a great all-season way to see wildlife and habitats from the comfort of your car. By using your car as a viewing blind, you can often see more wildlife than you can see on foot.
Biking is a good way to see wildlife, learn about habitats and photograph nature. Yield to pedestrians; many refuge routes are multi-use trails. Biking may be permitted at sites where it is consistent with a refuge’s statutory purpose. E-bikes are permitted on any refuge roads and trails where traditional bicycle use is allowed, if it is consistent with a refuge’s statutory purpose and the refuge manager determines it to be a compatible use.
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 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.
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 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.
School program activities are available at a number of facilities.
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.
Horseback riding is permitted on designated trails of a limited number of refuges. Riders must follow refuge rules and regulations for this activity. See individual refuge websites for details.
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.
Rangers lead wildlife walks, tours and educational programs at many sites. Events may focus on wildflowers or birds or on seasonal spectacles, such as elk bugling or sea turtle nesting. Some programs may be limited in size or require advance registration. See individual websites for details.
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.
Some refuges allow people to forage in designated areas for seasonal nuts, berries and mushrooms.
Many refuges champion wildlife viewing as a key recreational activity.