Facility Activities


Big game, upland small game, and water/other migratory bird hunting are allowed on portions of the refuge. Big game and upland small game both require an annual $10.00 permit. Waterfowl hunting is provided in both controlled hunt areas and public hunt areas. Controlled hunt zones may require a $10.00 permit during a portion of the waterfowl season, but public areas do not require a permit.

Youth waterfowl hunt opportunities are available at Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge during the Vermont Youth Waterfowl Weekend and during the first 3 weekends of the regular waterfowl season.

Migratory Game Bird Hunting Map & Regulations (pdf)
Upland Game / Big Game Hunting (pdf)

Big Game Harvest Report

Upland-Small Game Report

Lottery Waterfowl Application

2024 Controlled Waterfowl Hunt Dates


The warm shallow water of the Missisquoi Delta provides excellent fishing opportunities on and around the refuge. Refuge boat launch facilities at Louie’s Landing and seasonally at Macs Bend allow boaters quick access to the river and Lake Champlain.  Please be aware that some areas on the lake are closed to fishing. Paddling through flooded forest habitat along the river is prohibited during high water to reduce disturbance to migrating birds.  Click here for a map of areas closed to boating and fishing access.

Fishing brochure (pdf)

  Boating Guide (pdf)


Five refuge trails encompassing 7.5 miles provide excellent opportunities for wildlife observation in many different upland and wetland habitats. Numerous boardwalks on these trails allow quiet, elevated access through wildlife habitats to see migratory and resident species. The refuge delta, Missisquoi River, Dead Creek, provide a water rich alternative to observe wildlife on the refuge. Please note the Jeep Trail is open seasonally from August 1-April 1 only. This seasonal closure protects migratory birds and other wildlife during the breeding season. Kayaks, canoes, and small motorized boats allow access to the refuge in areas where trails are not available.

All trails are closed during the rifle and muzzleloader deer seasons with the exception of Black and Maquam Creek trail.  

Refuge trails brochure (pdf)
Bird brochure (pdf)

Black Creek & Maquam Creek Nature Trails brochure (pdf)


The refuge hosts annual events such International Migratory Bird Day on the third Saturday in May. This event is coupled with a refuge open house and art display featuring local artists and photographers. The Junior Waterfowl Hunter Training program is provided on the third Saturday in August. This activity provides expert instruction both indoors and outdoors for young waterfowlers age 12-17.

The first Saturday in May is Refuge green Up Day during which staff and volunteers conduct a cleanup of refuge waterways.

The Friends of Missisquoi NWR provide Monthly bird walks on the third Saturday of each month. Bog walks, Vernal Pool walks, Owl Prowls and other events occur seasonally during the year.  Check the Friends of Missisquoi NWR's website for more information: https://friendsofmissisquoi.org/

Refuge Brochure (pdf)

Environmental Education

The Refuge HQ offers a large classroom for schools, summer camps, and other groups complete with audio/visual projection. Displays and exhibits are available in the HQ building as well. A hiking trail begins at the south entrance of the HQ building and offers educational opportunities to discuss green energy, macroinvertebrates, grassland habitats and a variety of other subject matter with students. The refuge provides outdoor classroom experiences to local schools and summer camps.

We invite you to explore and use Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge as an outdoor classroom. Located near Swanton, we have 5 trails to discover, ponds for studying insects and water quality, as well as a modern visitor center with classroom facilities. There is no fee to use the refuge. We suggest education trips be conducted late May through early October. I

We have developed an Educator Guide to help you facilitate a trip to the refuge.  You will find everything you need to guide your students though an immersive and hands on experience.  We may also have a limited number of spaces for a staff-guided education programs. Please contact us to find out more.  Additionally, education materials are available to borrow for use at the refuge or in your classroom. 

Educator Guide (pdf)


Spring, summer and fall are the best times for photography at Missisquoi. These time periods provide opportunities to photograph both resident and migratory species. Winter wildlife most likely to be observed include pileated woodpeckers, whitetail deer, and chickadees. Spring and summer bring numerous migrants including a variety of waterfowl species, great blue herons, eagles and osprey, a variety of migrant songbirds are also present. Fall colors usher in returning concentrations of waterfowl as well as northern breeding songbirds as they move toward southern wintering areas. Photography from watercraft along the Missisquoi River and other adjacent water bodies is also productive in the spring, summer and fall.

Migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting were expanded in 2015.Located on the northeastern shore of Lake Champlain, Missisquoi NWR has marshes dense with wild rice and other native plants that attract lots of ducks. In the spring and summer, the refuge provides important...

Fishing is permitted year-round on most of the refuge; however, some areas are closed all year or seasonally to prevent impact to wildlife. A great variety of fish abound in the waters in and surrounding Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge. Walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, bullhead and...

Many refuges champion wildlife viewing as a key recreational activity.
School program activities are available at a number of facilities.
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.