Visit Us

Visitors will discover scenic landscapes and opportunities to view wildlife, all within a short drive of the Portland-Vancouver metro area. A close-by escape from the city, the Refuge provides a home for local animals and plants that live here year-round, as well as those that migrate here for a season. With every visit, there is the opportunity to experience something new or expand your learning of what may be familiar to you. 

This refuge is a fee site. Learn more about the entrance fee and passes available on the Rules and Policies page. For gate times and directions see our Locations page

Activities

At your local refuges, we celebrate that everyone experiences nature and the benefits of being outdoors in different ways. Staff strives to create outdoor experiences for those coming from many backgrounds, interests, and comfort levels. The following are wildlife-dependent activities that will help you explore the outdoors and experience your own personal connection to the natural world. 

Trails

Feel as though you have escaped the city as you explore forests of Ash, Douglass fir, red cedar and Oregon white oak trees. Open your lungs and mind as you travel along wetland trails and watch wildlife soar the open water, fields, and sky. The trails are very different in terrain, habitat, and location on the refuge. See trail profiles for maps, directions, and seasonal closures to help plan your visit. 

Other Facilities in the Complex

The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex is comprised of four refuges along the lower Columbia River.

Rules and Policies

The refuge welcomes visitors and provides facilities for activities that depend upon wildlife, such as wildlife observation, environmental education and hunting. Other activities that are not wildlife dependent, such as biking, jogging or boating are not offered at this refuge. The following rules and policies are intended to keep both wildlife and visitors safe and provide an enjoyable experience for all.  

Locations

Carty Unit/Refuge Headquarters
28908 NW Main Avenue Ridgefield, WA 98642-8366

This entrance provides access to the Carty Unit of the refuge and includes the year round Oaks to Wetlands trail and the seasonal Carty Lake trail. The parking lot includes two ADA vault toilets. There is no running water available. 

Driving Directions
  • From Interstate 5 take Exit 14 for Pioneer Street/ Washington 501 W toward Ridgefield.
  • Coming from the north turn right for NW 269th/Pioneer Street
  • Coming from the south turn left for NW 269th/Pioneer Street.
  • At the first traffic circle, continue straight on NW 269th/Pioneer Street.
  • At the second traffic circle, continue straight on NW 269th/Pioneer Street.
  • At the Main Street traffic light take a right. Continue on N Main for 1 mile
  • Refuge Entrance will be on the left.
Hours
Carty Unit Automatic Gate Times
Daily
7:30 am to 4:30 pm
River S Unit/Auto Tour Route
1071 S Hillhurst Rd Ridgefield, WA 98675

This entrance to the refuge gives you access to the year round auto tour route, the seasonal Kiwa trail and the seasonal waterfowl hunting program. There are two sets of ADA vault toilets. There is no running water. 

Driving Directions
  • From Interstate 5 (both north and south) take Exit 14 for Pioneer Street/ Washington 501 W toward Ridgefield.
  • Coming from the north turn right for NW 269th/Pioneer Street.
  • Coming from the south turn left for NW 269th/Pioneer Street.
  • At the traffic circle continue straight onto NW 269th/Pioneer Street.
  • At the second traffic circle continue straight onto NW 269th/Pioneer Street. 
  • At the stop sign on S 9th Ave/S Hillhurst Street, turn left. Drive approx .7 miles.
  • Refuge Entrance will be on the right.
Hours
River S Unit Automatic Gate Times
Daily
7:30 am to 4:30 pm
Port Entrance

This entrance is on the property of the Port of Ridgefield and gives pedestrian access to the Carty Unit trail system seasonally from May 1st through September 30th. October through April visitors can use the entrance pavilion, spur trail and Lake River overlook without entrance fee. 

Hours
Port Entrance Pedestrian Access Hours
Daily
7:30 am to 4:30 pm