Visit Us

National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. On first arrival, make sure to stop at the visitor center to check out a variety of exhibits including orientations maps and videos, wildlife nature and habitat displays, interactive games and seasonally changing exhibits. Whether you are planning a day trip or a longer stay, you will find plenty to enjoy. Wildlife, bird watching, and historic appreciation top the list at this scenic refuge. You may also enjoy self-guided trails through wildflower fields, woods and wetlands, a picnic pavilion with grills, fishing, boating, canoeing, or kayaking in the summer season.  

Driving Directions

From downtown Tishomingo:

Follow Highway 78 to the eastern edge of town. Turn south on Refuge Road, at the high school (watch for sign). Follow Refuge Road 2 miles to the refuge visitor center. 

From downtown Durant:

On US Highway 75/69 North, exit on Highway 78/48 (left). Continue on Hwy. 78/48 towards Kenefic, turn left on Highway 22 and at the Nida intersection turn slightly right towards Milburn, Hwy 78. Upon entering Tishomingo (watch for sign), turn left on Refuge Road and follow for 2 miles to the refuge visitor center.  

Fees

There is no charge to visit.

Restrooms

Restrooms are located inside the visitor center, at the picnic pavilion, and at the North entrance of the wildlife management unit.  

Points of Interest

Let our staff and volunteers at the visitor contact station help you plan your visit! This is a great starting point for visitors to become more familiar with the refuge and the wildlife that live here. Visitors can enjoy exhibits including orientations maps and videos, wildlife nature and habitat displays, interactive games and seasonally changing exhibits. Make sure to grab a wildlife species list and brochure on the way out.  

What to Do

If you have 15-minutes: 

  • Enjoy exhibits including orientations maps and videos, wildlife nature and habitat displays, interactive games and seasonally changing exhibits.

If you have one hour: 

  • Craven Nature trail, a 0.5-mile loop, featuring an observation deck at Dick’s Pond.

If you have half a day or more: 

  • Explore the Prairie Pathways Trail. You will learn about local plants and animals and the area’s rich history at interpretive waysides. You will also see the native plants demonstration garden, works of art highlighting cultural and natural history, and historic buildings and scenic views of the Cumberland Pool. 

  • Enjoy the Sandy Creek Trail, a 0.25-mile loop.
  • Make sure to check out the historic farm structures around the refuge and stop by the visitor center to learn more about the Chickasaw Labor Academy and Washita Farm.
  • If you enjoy fishing, Sandy Creek and Murray 23 are popular spots.

Know Before You Go

Before you visit make sure that you pack appropriately including bringing plenty of water, snacks, insect repellent, sunscreen, and don’t forget your walking shoes!  

Visitor Tips

Wildlife is most active during the mornings or late afternoon while the sun is not as hot. Feel free to call the visitor center 580-371-2402 or look at the Refuge Facebook page for wildlife sightings and what to expect to see during different seasons throughout the year.  

Trails

Craven Nature Trail 

Open Season: Open year round 

Length: 0.5 mile loop 

Location of trail: Parking is available at the marked pull-out, on S. Refuge Rd. 1 mile south of main entrance gate. 

Surface: Partially paved, gravel and boardwalk 

Difficulty: Easy  

The accessible 0.25 mile of asphalt pavement connecting the trailhead to Dick’s Pond boardwalk features interpretive panels and 3 benches along the route. This portion of the longer loop trail descends gradually through woodland habitat to bottomlands surrounding the pond. The boardwalk provides views of the pond and its surrounding marsh habitat. 

Sandy Creek Trail 

Open Season: Open year round 

Length: 0.25 mile loop 

Location of trail: Along Sandy creek 

Surface: Dirt 

Difficulty: Easy 

This trail allows you to get a nice view of Sandy creek. You might even be able to spot an otter here.  

Prairie Pathways Trail 

Open Season: Open year round 

Length: 0.5 mile loop 

Location of trail: Adjacent from the old headquarters building. 

Surface: Paved, ADA compliant 

Difficulty: Easy 

Parking is available in front of the historic headquarters building. The sidewalk that begins at the south eastern corner of the parking lot leads to a meandering network of accessible paved pathways. Explore this area to discover information about local plants and animals and the area’s rich history at interpretive waysides. You will also see the native plants demonstration garden, works of art highlighting cultural and natural history, historic buildings and scenic views of the Cumberland Pool. 

Other Facilities in the Complex

Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge is an overlay on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Denison Dam and Lake Texoma project. The Wildlife Management unit (WMU) encompasses 3,170-acres and is co-managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Oklahoma Department of Wildlife (ODWCD). 

Rules and Policies

The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset, except for night fishing and camping. Wildlife viewing is allowed on designated trails and roadways. Seasonal hunting and fishing opportunities are offered; be sure to obtain the regulations and permit. All plants, wildlife, and cultural features on the refuge are protected and it is illegal to remove them. Prohibited activities include swimming, fireworks, littering, metal detectors, off-road driving, glass containers, ATV’s, horses, fires, and pets off-leash. 

  • Open from sunrise to sunset; nighttime traffic is prohibited, except for night fishing and camping. 

  • Drive only on designated roads, not on refuge farm fields. 

  • Seasonal hunting and fishing opportunities are offered; be sure to obtain the regulations and permit.  

  • No horses, all-terrain vehicles or dirt bikes are allowed on the refuge. 

  • Pets are allowed on the refuge but must always be kept on a leash and under control of the owner. 

  • Fires are permitted only at designated areas within the provided fire pits. 

  • Swimming, personal watercraft (i.e., jet ski), waterskiing and air boats are not permitted. 

  • Take all litter with you or place in designated bins. 

  • Use caution when walking on roads. 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. 

  • Target shooting is prohibited. 
     

 

Locations

Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge
11766 South Refuge Road Tishomingo, OK 73460-3507
Driving Directions

From downtown Tishomingo:

Follow Highway 78 to the eastern edge of town. Turn south on Refuge Road, at the high school (watch for sign). Follow Refuge Road 2 miles to the refuge visitor center. 

From downtown Durant:

On US Highway 75/69 North, exit on Highway 78/48 (left). Continue on Hwy. 78/48 towards Kenefic, turn left on Highway 22 and at the Nida intersection turn slightly right towards Milburn, Hwy 78. Upon entering Tishomingo (watch for sign), turn left on Refuge Road and follow for 2 miles to the refuge visitor center.  

Hours
Visitor Center
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
8 am - 4 pm
Sunday, Tuesday
CLOSED
Every other Saturday
Programming available soon
Refuge lands and trails
Year-round
Sunrise - Sunset