Facility Activities

Visitors can participate in a variety of activities that include wildlife viewing, wildlife photography, hunting, fishing and paddling.

Biking is a good way to see wildlife, learn about habitats and photograph nature. Yield to pedestrians; many refuge routes are multi-use trails. Biking may be permitted at sites where it is consistent with a refuge’s statutory purpose. E-bikes are permitted on any refuge roads and trails where traditional bicycle use is allowed, if it is consistent with a refuge’s statutory purpose and the refuge manager determines it to be a compatible use.

Birding opportunities at Two Rivers depend on the season visitors use the refuge. Visit the refuge bird list for a complete list of species that use the refuge and the season they might be spotted. Printed lists are available at the refuge visitor center or at information kiosks around the...

Boats provide the best way to see many refuges, and Two Rivers is no exception. Meandering backwaters of the Prairie Pond management area located within the Batchtown Division offer excellent fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities by boat. Meander through an island complex in the Portage...

The serene backwaters of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers offer paddlers reprieve from the bustling urban center of St. Louis, just 20 miles away.

Know before you go – Before you head out to Two Rivers for your next canoe, kayak, or paddle board trip here are a few things to...

Two Rivers allows dog walking, all pets must be leashed when using the refuge. Do not leave dogs unattended and pack waste bags to clean up after pets. Pack water and a bowl to keep your furry friends hydrated, especially during hot, humid summers in the floodplain. 

We proudly serve the St. Louis community by offering programs both on and off the refuge, many with our partners including the Gateway Arch, Little Creek Nature Area, the YMCA, St. Louis Audubon Society, and Pere Marquette State Park, to name a few. Our programs appeal to people of all ages,...

Two Rivers allows for recreational and commercial fishing. Commercial fishing for carp control requires a special use permit, contact the refuge if interested in commercial fishing on Two Rivers.

We follow fishing regulations set by the respective state the area is within (Illinois or...

Take a hike! Two Rivers has a trail for everyone, enjoy the hum of busy pollinators as you walk through our Prairie Adventure Trail, a songbird chorus in a floodplain forest along the Gilbert Lake Hiking Trail, and view hundreds of wading birds along the Swan Lake Levee trail, to name a few....

Migratory game bird, upland game and big game hunting were expanded in 2020. Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge is an important stop for migratory birds on the Mississippi Flyway. In the winter months thousands of ducks and...

Painting and sketching in nature is possible at nearly all sites open to the public. Sometimes, sites host public displays of artworks created on the refuge.

From birds to mammals, to rivers and bottomland forests, there are picture-perfect opportunities around every corner at Two Rivers. Read on to learn more about photography at Two Rivers before your visit.

Viewing blind – the refuge has a viewing blind overlooking wetland areas in front...

A few sites allow picnicking at designated areas.
Rangers lead wildlife walks, tours and educational programs at many sites. Events may focus on wildflowers or birds or on seasonal spectacles, such as elk bugling or sea turtle nesting. Some programs may be limited in size or require advance registration. See individual websites for details.
Many multi-purpose trails are open to runners and joggers as well as walkers and, in some cases, bicyclists. Some sites host annual fun runs. Check individual refuge websites for details.
Removing shed antlers from refuges is generally illegal. An exception has been made for Wyoming's National Elk Refuge, where the local Jackson District Boy Scouts help refuge staff collect antlers for auction each year through a special use permit.
Some refuges allow people to forage in designated areas for seasonal nuts, berries and mushrooms.
Many refuges champion wildlife viewing as a key recreational activity.