National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings.
Coastal Maine is a destination for both national and international visitors. Visitors are drawn to the area's beaches, rocky coastline, and forests every year. Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge offers an alternative for those seeking solitude and a connection with nature.
While our main purpose is to protect wildlife and natural resources, the refuge offers a variety of ways for the public to experience and appreciate its protected public lands including three main nature trails and many wildlife observation stations featuring every habitat type found on the refuge, hunting and fishing opportunities, interpretive and educational programs, a visitor information center, many volunteering opportunities, as well as other recreational activities.
Our Summer Menu (October - April)
Frequently Asked Questions
Know Before You Go
Designated visitor use areas on the refuge are open to the public year round from 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1/2 hour after sunset.
Please be aware that most wildlife habitat managed by the refuge is closed to the public as designated by "Area Closed" or "Unauthorized Entry Prohibited" boundary signs.
Leashed pets are allowed at the Carson Trail only. Please carry out your trash at all trails on the refuge.
Directions and Contact Info
The refuge administrative office is located at 321 Port Road in Wells, Maine, just minutes from exit 19 of I-95 (Maine Turnpike). From exit 19, turn left onto Route 9/109. At stop light, turn left onto Post Road (Route 1 North). Just past the Maine Diner, turn right onto Port Road (Route 9) and follow for approximately ¾ mile; turn right into the refuge entrance.
Parking may be limited. Time your visit in the early morning or later in the day; this is the best time to observe wildlife and avoid crowds.
If the visitor parking lot is full, please consider coming back at a later time.
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
321 Port Road
Wells, ME 04090
If you require any assistance please contact the office at (207) 646-9226.
Rules and Policies
We encourage the visiting public to call this refuge their own. As with any public use area, we ask you to care for the land and wildlife resources as your own, while calling on you to observe some simple rules and regulations.