Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you do the following:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Face masks are required in all federal buildings and on all federal lands.
  • Maintain a safe distance between yourself and other groups.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick


  • junior ranger 218x116

    Junior Ranger Program

    Our Junior Ranger Program is guaranteed to enhance every family's visit to the refuge. Earn a badge and certificate! This program is FREE!

    Just for kids at the refuge ...

  • Orchard Oriole 218x116

    Birds of a Feather Bird Walk

    Many species of bird, from hummingbirds to bald eagles, nest and live on the refuge. Join a ranger naturalist for this weekly guided walk!

    Take flight on a bird walk!

  • Longnose Garr 218x116

    Wild Ohio!

    Our visitor center includes two live turtles and a 1,200 gallon tank. Learn about the Ohio River and join us for feeding time!

    Let the feast begin!

Refuge News

Do the Kayak Challenge!

Kayak Challenge promo 60x100

Our visitor center is a great way to learn about the refuge, but the real resource is the islands. Covered with verdant forest and rich with history and wildlife, we want you to get out and visit all the islands you can. Nothing compares to the experience of approaching an island silently, under your own power in a kayak or canoe, and in that spirit we’ve created the Kayak Challenge! We’re hoping it’s just the little push you need to follow visions of Huckleberry Finn floating down the river!

All about the challenge ...

Draft Hunting Plan Released for Public Review

April 6, 2021 Deer 60x100

Ohio River Islands NWR is seeking public review and comment on its proposed hunting opening plan. The public is invited to review the draft documents for our proposed hunts, including the Draft Hunting Compatibility Determination and Environmental Assessment. We anticipate accepting public comments through mid-June. We will update our webpage with the final date soon.

Learn more details ...

What To Do About Injured or Orphaned Wildlife

Morning Dove 60x100

Have you found an injured animal or bird? Are you desperate for help and wondering what to do? Determining whether or not to assist an injured or orphaned animal (or even determining for sure that a bird or animal needs help) can be a challenge on many levels. There are philosophical, environmental, and health considerations. It is one of those situations where our best instincts may be misleading.

What steps should I take?

Middle Island Bridge Reopens

October 14, 2020 middle island bridge 60x100

Middle Island, located near St. Marys, West Virginia, is one of 22 islands making up Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge. It is one of the largest islands on the Refuge, and is covered with beautiful meadows and bottomland forest. Several miles of maintained trails allow visitors to explore the island, and as one of only two Refuge islands that can be accessed by road, it is a popular and very special destination for visitors. After being closed since February, 2019, the bridge to the island is now reopened.

At last, you are free to visit the island!
General Information

Visitor Center Hours

Refuge Visitor Center Small

The Refuge Visitor Center is located at 3982 Waverly Road in Williamstown, West Virginia and is open Monday through Saturday, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM (closed some federal holidays including New Years, 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas).

Plan Your Visit to the Refuge

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS