Facility Rules and Policies

Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge regulations are designed to protect the cranes, to preserve natural, scenic and wildlife values and to enhance public safety and enjoyment of the refuge. The following is a general summary of refuge regulations.

Know Before You Go

Refuge Hours
Visitors are welcome to recreate in the refuge during daylight hours only. The refuge visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. CST Thursday through Saturday, and is closed on all Federal holidays. The entrance gate at Crane Lane closes at sunset.

Hiking is permitted on designated refuge trails.

Areas within refuge boundaries may be closed to public entry due to sensitive species or restoration activities. Be aware of signs indicating closed areas. 

Dogs are allowed in certain areas of the refuge, such as the designated hiking trails and Visitor Center grounds. They must be kept on a leash at all times. Please be mindful of other visitors and pick up after your pet.

Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is not permitted at the refuge. 

Visitors may ride bicycles along the Crane Lane entrance corridor. Bicycles are not allowed on refuge trails.

There is no camping at the refuge, however, camping can be found at nearby Shepard State Park in Gautier, MS (call 228-497-2244 or visit http://shepardstatepark.com/ for more information)

Fires are prohibited.

Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping
Mississippi sandhill cranes are a critically endangered species that is very sensitive to disturbance. In order to protect the cranes, hunting, fishing and trapping are not allowed on the refuge.

Trapping Occurs at this Refuge:
Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. On this refuge trapping occurs only as a wildlife management tool and is prohibited by the public. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations.

Collecting of Natural or Cultural Objects 

Removal of plants, animals or archaeological material is prohibited.

In case of an emergency, call 911.