Facility Activities

There are a variety of ways to experience Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area. Check to see if your favorite pastime is allowed or try something new from the list of permitted activities.

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.
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 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.
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.

Refuge waters, including the Patoka River, South Fork and adjacent oxbow and overflow wetlands such as Snakey Point and Buck marshes, offer excellent fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and redear sunfish. Fishing is allowed during daylight hours.

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.

Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge consists of more than 10,000 acres of various habitats – including upland and bottomland forest, diverse wetlands and prairie – along 20 miles of the Patoka River in southwestern Indiana. The refuge is known for abundant waterfowl hunting opportunities along...

Painting and sketching in nature is possible at nearly all sites open to the public. Sometimes, sites host public displays of artworks created on the refuge.
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.
Many refuges champion wildlife viewing as a key recreational activity.