The refuge is closed to the public.

This refuge exists to protect endangered species habitat.

Pilot Knob National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1987. The 90 acre refuge, a donation from the Pilot Knob Ore Company, is located on top of Pilot Knob Mountain in Iron County, Missouri. Pilot Knob is a peak in the St. Francois Mountains above the Arcadia Valley.

The refuge contains abandoned iron mine shafts excavated in the mid-1800s that have since become critical habitat for the federally endangered Indiana bat. The Indiana bat hibernates within the abandoned mine shafts located at the peak of Pilot Knob Mountain. The bats generally arrive in September and leave in April.

Visit Us

 To avoid disturbance to the bats and for public safety, the refuge is closed to all entry.

Location and Contact Information

      Our Species

      Cluster of roosting bats.

      The Indiana bat is a medium-sized Myotis, closely resembling the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) but differing in coloration. Its fur is a dull grayish chestnut rather than bronze, with the basal portion of the hairs on the back a dull-lead color. This bat's underparts are pinkish to...

      FWS Focus
      Gray bats flying under tree canopy outside of Sauta Cave

      Long, glossy fur, light brown to brown. Ears dark, usually black; longer than in any other myotis; when laid forward extend 1/4 cm (7 mm) beyond nose. Tragus long and thin. Calcar keeled.

      FWS Focus