Facility Rules and Policies

The refuge welcomes visitors to experience nature in ways that depend upon wildlife, such as wildlife observation, photography and environmental education. Other activities that are not wildlife-dependent such as biking, jogging and horseback riding are uniquely offered at this refuge along the Refuge River Trail. The following rules and policies are intended to keep both wildlife and visitors safe and provide an enjoyable experience for all. 

Refuge Hours – Sunrise to Sunset

Visitors are welcomed to enjoy the refuge during daylight hours only. After hours use disturbs resting wildlife and puts them at increased risk for predation. An automatic gate at the parking lot is programmed from sunrise to sunset, with current times posted at the entrance and on this website. Visitors walking in from Index Street are asked to exit the refuge by sunset.  

Leashed dogs on the Refuge River Trail Only

Dogs are usually kept off refuges due to their disturbance to wildlife who see them as a predator. However, we are happy to be able to offer this opportunity to visitors wanting to enjoy nature with their four-legged friend. Please do your part to keep this opportunity open by keeping your dog on a leash, picking up after it and leaving your dog at home when enjoying the other two trails.  

Service dogs are necessary for some visitors that use our trails and can provide a wide variety of duties for a disabled person. It is the training that distinguishes a service dog and we ask that all visitors remember that these dogs are not always marked. Please be courteous to your fellow visitor and allow service dogs to do their part in ensuring that the outdoors accessible to all. 

All visitors are reminded that pet waste not only creates a poor trail experience for other visitors, it also can spread disease to wildlife. All pet waste must be removed from the site. There are no garbage facilities at the refuge.  

Horses & Bicycles

Bicycles and horses are also allowed on the Refuge River Trail but not on refuge trails. To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit by all please ensure you are aware of your surroundings, yield to horses on the trail and lock up your bike when venturing onto the other trails. 

Picking & Collecting

Harvesting materials of any nature is not allowed at the refuge. Everything you see is important for the health of native animal and plant species that live here. Collecting or removing archaeological or historic objects or natural material such as plants, mushrooms, berries, and antler sheds is prohibited. Please leave everything you observe and take away only photos and memories. 

Stay grounded with wildlife observation – No drones

While drones are fun and a great photography tool, they are very disturbing to the wildlife that need to use the refuge to rest and recharge. Drones are prohibited on all trails on the refuge.  

Audio playback devices cause stress to birds

Playback devices used to elicit a response causes stress to birds and takes them away from the important task of raising young and protecting themselves. Some birders will use bird call technology in the field to verify a call they have heard. They may play the call quietly so only they are able to hear it or use headphones, which minimize any potential impact on birds in the wild. 

Commercial activities require a special use permit

All commercial activities, including commercial photography require a special use permit. Contact Refuge staff for information on compatible activities.