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

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


  • Hiking Trails

    Trails are open year round. Seasonal Trails are open from April 1 - September 15. All trails are closed Nov. 20-21 and 29-Dec. 3.

    Ottawa NWR Trail Map

  • Current Refuge Closures

    In keeping with guidance from the CDC, the visitor center is closed. The Friends will have their pop up shop outside on limited days.

    Learn More

  • Artist-in-Residence

    Professional artists are invited to share their discipline while surrounded by nature. Email for an application.

    Artist-in-Residence Flyer


Wildlife Drive Dates


Enjoy the refuge at your own pace from the comfort of your car! This seasonal road is only open on specified dates and departs from the visitor center entrance road. Enter anytime after sunrise thru one hour before sunset. The exit closes at sunset. Upcoming dates are November 27 and 28. The wildlife drive will not be open in December. Entrance gate opens at sunrise and close one hour prior to sunset. These are the dates that we plan to open the Wildlife Drive. Nature may, and often does, have other plans. The roads that we drive on are on top of dikes that are used to control all of the water levels in the refuge wetlands. Soft roads with heavy traffic will cost a lot of money in repairs. We also have a significant chance of flooding this spring. For the safety of our visitors as well as to protect the road conditions we will close the road if there is water across it. Please check social media to learn the status of the wildlife drive before traveling a long distance. We update here but current circumstances cause delays in updating the website.

Hunting Opportunities

Hunting Opportunities

Small mallards

If you have been selected for a controlled hunt or are looking for public hunting opportunities on refuge property please follow the link below to access additional information about your hunt.

Hunting Information

Partners for Fish and Wildlife

Partners for Fish and Wildlife

Wetland Restoration

The Partners for Fish & Wildlife program works with private landowners to improve fish and wildlife habitat on their lands. We are leaders in voluntary, community-based stewardship for fish and wildlife conservation. The future of the nation’s fish and wildlife depends on private landowners – more than 90% of land in the Midwest is in private ownership. Providing more high quality habitat not only helps wildlife - by contributing to a healthy landscape, you create a conservation legacy to pass on to future generations. Partnerships are the key! To accomplish this work, we team up with private conservation organizations, state and federal agencies and tribes. Together, with the landowner, this collective shares funding, materials, equipment, labor and expertise to meet both the landowner’s restoration goals and our conservation mission.

Learn More

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