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.
Biking is a good way to see wildlife, learn about habitats and photograph nature. Yield to pedestrians; many refuge routes are multi-use trails. Biking may be permitted at sites where it is consistent with a refuge’s statutory purpose. E-bikes are permitted on any refuge roads and trails where traditional bicycle use is allowed, if it is consistent with a refuge’s statutory purpose and the refuge manager determines it to be a compatible use.
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.
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.
Fishing on the refuge is permitted year-round, sunrise to sunset. Boat-accessed fishing is permitted in bays/estuaries, the Intracoastal Waterway, Cedar Lake, Cow Trap Lake and Cedar Lake Creek, which are designated by refuge signs. Refuge waters include bay estuary and access to ocean. A boat...
San Bernard NWR is known for the variety of birds that use this refuge throughout the year, from nesting terns and herons in the spring to migrating warblers in the fall. Among these birds is a large population of waterfowl, including puddle ducks and snow geese. San Bernard NWR offers both...
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.
Crabbing and clamming are popular at some coastal refuges, including Chincoteague Refuge in Virginia and Bandon Marsh Refuge in Oregon. Crawfishing is big at some Louisiana refuges. Check individual sites for details and restrictions.
Many refuges champion wildlife viewing as a key recreational activity.
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