Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities at Swan River National Wildlife Refuge, from bird-watching to waterfowl hunting, and fishing to snowshoeing. Visitors are allowed to observe or photograph wildlife, hike, cross-country ski, or snowshoe on Bog Road Trail year-round and in the hunt area during waterfowl hunting season.
Swan River National Wildlife Refuge is in bear country. Be prepared for bear encounters - carry and keep bear spray readily available. For additional safety tips, visit: https://bebearaware.org/bear-safety-tips/.
Visitors are encouraged to hike on the Bog Road and Tollefson Trails year-round.
The Refuge is located just off the west side of state highway 83 in northwest Montana near the south end of Swan Lake about 23 miles southeast of the town of Bigfork. The only facility here includes a small parking area from which one can access a kiosk and an overlook with interpretive panels. The kiosk and wildlife viewing platform are accessible.
Other Facilities in the Complex
About the Western Montana National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Swan River National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the Northwest Montana Wetland Management District as part of the Western Montana National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
A Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas, or other refuge conservation areas that are managed from a central location. Refuges are grouped into complexes because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed or specific habitat type, and have a related purpose and management needs.
For the Western Montana National Wildlife Refuge Complex, the project leader is stationed at Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge and oversees general management of the Complex. Refuge managers oversee the operations at specific refuges. Supporting staff, composed of administrative, law enforcement, refuge manager, biological, fire, visitor services, and maintenance professionals support all refuges within the complex
The District headquarters address is PO Box 547, Ronan, MT, 59864.
The Complex headquarters is located at Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, 922 Bootlegger Trail, Great Falls MT 59404.
The refuges in the Western Montana National Wildlife Refuge Complex include:
Rules and Policies
There are lots of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do on Swan River National Wildlife Refuge. Keep in mind, if an activity is not wildlife related and does not help in the protection or understanding of wildlife or their habitat, there are probably Refuge rules governing this activity.
The Refuge is located just off the west side of state highway 83 in northwest Montana near the south end of Swan Lake about 23 miles southeast of the town of Bigfork.