Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge is open during daylight hours. Entrance the refuge is free. You’ll find information on the refuge’s history, wildlife, and management at the interpretive kiosks at the refuge’s entrance, public restrooms, headquarters, and trailheads. Our Visitor Center offers additional information and hands on activities for the inquiring mind as well as books and other gift ideas at the Friends of Turnbull nature store. The entrance road, auto tour route, and designated parking areas are available for year-round street vehicle and bicycle use in the Visitor Use Area. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not permitted on trails or roads designated for hiking only. Off road vehicle use is not allowed. Visitors are welcome to drive, walk or bicycle the 5.5-mile auto tour route where most waterfowl and other wildlife can be observed. Over 10 miles of hiking trails, including 3 accessible trails, are available in the Visitor Use Area. Blackhorse Lake offers an accessible boardwalk that allows all visitors easy lake viewing. All visitors are required to stay on designated trails and roads March 1 through August 15.
Location and Contact Information
Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge has numerous programs to effectively manage wildlife and habitat native to this ecosystem and to provide visitor services compatible to our refuge's mission and goals. Wildlife Management-related programs include fire management, forest restoration, water and wetland management, private lands conservation,control, inventory and monitoring, and wildlife population management. To assist us in meeting our management goals and objectives we provide environmental education and volunteering opportunities.
Turnbull supports a large variety of wildlife. Over 200 different kinds of birds have been recorded on the refuge. Of prime importance, the refuge conserves habitat for 25 species of nesting and migrating waterfowl including ducks geese and swans. Neotropical migratory songbirds, shorebirds and other water birds are found in abundance in
areas and wetlands. Mammals include moose, Rocky Mountain elk, white-tailed and mule deer, coyote, badger, river otter, porcupine, muskrat, beaver, bobcat and cougar. Numerous small mammals ranging from shrews to Columbian ground squirrels abound in different refuge habitats as well as a dozen reptile and amphibian species. The Channeled Scablands is a great haven for the 11 species of bats that have been documented at the refuge.
Projects and Research
Turnbull’s focus includes restoring and maintaining the native ecosystem processes of the Channeled Scablands. Habitat on the refuge is managed to sustain the diversity of flora and fauna native to this unique ecosystem. To achieve habitat diversity, the refuge reintroduces fire to fire-dependent plant communities, restores wetlands, deployscontrol, and plants native vegetation. Research is conducted on various habitats and wildlife to direct future management. Elk is also carefully managed through a limited-entry annual hunt to ensure a healthy regeneration of forests. The Refuge provides an extensive environmental education and outreach program for students of all ages.