Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

Visit Us

National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. You can make your first stop at the visitor contact station inside the main refuge headquarters. This area of the headquarters provides a place for you to gather information about the refuge and get oriented before adventuring onto the refuge. The general refuge brochure is available along with all other information about hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation. There are a series of interpretative panels inside the contact station that give educational information about wildlife, habitat management, endangered species, and refuge history. 

The Sandtown Bottom Unit of the refuge contains the main tour road and offers excellent access to many activities. The road provides access to Tuff, Moody, Reeves Slough, and Stoney Point boat ramps. It is also the only way to access both Horton Slough and Sandtown Woods Nature Trails along with numerous other parking areas throughout the refuge. 

There are two nature trails on the refuge, Horton Slough Nature Trail and Sandtown Woods Nature Trail. Each trail is a 1 mile accessible paved trail that provides opportunities for fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education, and interpretation. Each trail receives heavy use throughout the year by a variety of users and they promote a healthy lifestyle to the public by emphasizing exercise and interaction with nature and wildlife.

Driving Directions

The refuge is approximately 150 miles east of Oklahoma City, and 35 miles west of Fort Smith, Arkansas, off of Interstate 40. Take the Vian exit (# 297) from I-40, follow the county road three miles south to refuge headquarters (follow the signs). 

The latitude and longitude to the headquarters are: 35.447281, -94.972601. 


There is no charge to visit.


Restrooms are available inside the refuge headquarters. Vault style restrooms (without running water) are available at Horton Slough Nature Trail, Sandtown Woods Nature Trail, Moody Boat Ramp, Stoney Point Boat Ramp, and Reeve’s Slough Parking Area. 

Points of Interest

Let our staff at the refuge headquarters help you plan your visit! This is a great starting point for visitors to become familiar with the refuge and the wildlife that live here. Pick up maps and brochures that will prepare you for your refuge adventure. Visitors can also browse through the exhibits in our visitor contact station and learn more about the resident wildlife and rich refuge history! 

What to Do

If you have 15-minutes: 

  • Make sure you stop by refuge headquarters and browse through the visitor contact station. It will be your best option for maximizing your refuge experience. You can learn about the resident wildlife and the rich history of the refuge. 

If you have one hour: 

  • Visit the refuge headquarters and tour the visitor contact station. Pick up a refuge brochure and map to plan a trip on the tour road. Doing this will give you a better chance at viewing wildlife and knowing what parts of the tour road will offer great views of the beautiful landscape.  

If you have half a day or more: 

  • This can give you the best opportunity to feel like you’re getting the full refuge experience. Stop by the refuge headquarters and visitor contact station and browse through the exhibits. This will educate and prepare you for your adventure. Pick up a brochure and map and let our staff help you finalize your plans for the day. Travel the tour road and enjoy the incredible views and hopefully see some of the wildlife species that call the refuge home. Maybe you can hike the two nature trails on the refuge. Each trail is a 1 mile paved loop and can really help you get connected with the surrounding nature. 

Know Before You Go

Make sure you’re prepared to deal with Mother Nature when you visit the refuge. Know the weather forecast and dress appropriately for the conditions you expect to face. We also recommend insect repellant, sunscreen, drinking water and snacks. These basic steps can help ensure you and all members of your party have a great refuge experience! 

Visitor Tips

  • The Sandtown Bottom Unit and Sally Jones Lake are open from 5:00 a.m. until one hour after legal sunset. 
  • Refuge brochures and maps are available at the refuge headquarters and the kiosk at the main refuge entrance. 
  • Wildlife species tend to be most active near sunrise and sunset. Increase your odds of seeing wildlife by visiting during those times. 
  • Take your time and be very quiet. This allows wildlife the opportunity to adjust to your presence and will increase your odds of viewing some of the refuge’s more shy residents. 
  • Hunting only occurs Saturday through Tuesday on the refuge. 
  • The highest concentrations of waterfowl typically occur November through January.


The refuge is open to a number of wildlife dependent recreational activities. Stop by the refuge headquarters and learn more about what adventures are waiting for you on the refuge! 


Horton Slough Nature Trail 

Open Season: Open year round (walking, jogging, biking). 

Length: 1 mile 

Location of trail: Next to the refuge headquarters. 

Surface: Paved, ADA compliant 

Difficulty:  Low 

This trail was built along a wetland and overlooks Sally Jones Lake. During the winter, thousands of migrating snow geese and other waterfowl use the lake as a resting, refueling and wintering area. Here is where you might also see American bald eagles. Visitors walk through a forested area, while enjoying views of the wetland and wildlife that inhabit it. An overlook and benches provide opportunities to enjoy the scenery.

Sandtown Nature Trail 

Open Season: Open year round (walking, jogging, biking). 

Length: 1 mile 

Location of trail: On the Sandtown Bottom Unit  

Surface:  Paved, ADA compliant 

Difficulty: Low 

This paved trail offers a view across the Arkansas and Canadian Rivers’ delta. It starts at the Sandtown Woods parking area where visitors can watch and track waterfowl movement over portions of the refuge. This is also a good place to see American bald eagles as they scan land and water for prey. The trail highlights the diversity of habitat as it transitions into bottomland hardwoods. This is where visitors might also catch a glimpse of the refuge’s more inconspicuous residents like bobcats and armadillos. 

Other Facilities in the Complex

Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge is located in various tracts scattered throughout East Central and Northeastern Oklahoma and is approximately 4,200 acres. The refuge was established in 1980 to protect Federally listed threatened and endangered cave species such as the Ozark big-eared bat. Although Ozark Plateau is very different from Sequoyah in many ways, it is still under direct management of the Sequoyah Refuge Manager. 

Rules and Policies

There are a lot of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do on the refuge. Keep in mind, if an activity is not wildlife related and doesn't help in the protection or understanding of wildlife or their habitat, there are probably refuge rules governing this activity. Please check with the refuge management before participating in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself. There are plenty of activities at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge for you to enjoy. Be safe and have fun! 

  • Pets must be on a leash or under control. 
  • Possession or use of alcohol is prohibited on the refuge. 
  • Pits or permanent blinds are prohibited. 
  • Use caution when walking on roads and yield to approaching vehicles. 
  • Observe wildlife from a safe distance. Young animals should be left alone. 
  • Help protect resources. All plants, wildlife, and cultural features on the refuge are protected and it is illegal to remove them. 
  • Open fires are prohibited. 
  • Hunting in designated areas only. 
  • Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuges must comply with all provisions of state and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations. 


Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge
107993 S 4520 RoadVian,OK74962-6062
Driving Directions

The refuge is approximately 150 miles east of Oklahoma City, and 35 miles west of Fort Smith, Arkansas, off of Interstate 40. Take the Vian exit (# 297) from I-40, follow the county road three miles south to refuge headquarters (follow the signs). 

The latitude and longitude to the headquarters are: 35.447281, -94.972601. 

Headquarters Office Hours
Mon - Thurs
7:30 am - 4 pm
7:30 am - 3:30 pm
Sandtown Bottom Unit Hours (including Sally Jones Lake)
5 am - One hour after legal sunset