Rules and Regulations

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

A Few Simple Rules

  • The refuge is open from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
  • Public use of designated refuge trails within the refuge is allowed for nature study, hiking, and photography in all seasons.  
  • In an effort to protect delicate habitats and avoid ticks and poison ivy, we ask that you stay on designated trails. 
  • Firearms are allowed by permit in designated hunt areas only. 
  • Firearms are prohibited from federal buildings.
  • Leashed dogs are allowed on the Carson Trail in Wells. Otherwise, domestic pets, including horses, are not allowed on the refuge.
  • Disturbing or collecting of plants, animals, and artifacts is prohibited. 
  • Comply with all signs posted at public use areas.
  • Camping and fires are not allowed on refuge property.
  • Do not feed wildlife.
  • Observe a Leave No Trace* ethic.
* Leave No Trace is a national education program to inform visitors about reducing the damage caused by outdoor activities, particularly non-motorized recreation. Leave No Trace principles and practices are based on an abiding respect for the natural world and our fellow wildland visitors. We can act on behalf of the places and wildlife that inspire us by adopting the following skills and ethics that enable us to Leave No Trace:
  • Plan ahead and prepare and know your personal limitations
  • Travel on durable surfaces only
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Leave what you find.
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of other visitors