Facility Activities

Activities available at Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge include hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, interpretation, environmental education and photography. We encourage you to explore and enjoy your public lands through a variety of different recreational activities. 

Nestled on the South Shore of Lake Superior, Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge offers some unique birding opportunities. The ancient musical calls of sandhill cranes are often heard at the mouth of Whittlesey Creek where they roost during the summer months. Large flocks of common...

Though canoeing and kayaking is permitted on Whittlesey Creek, the creek is generally too small for the activity. For more experienced paddlers, however, the mouth of Whittlesey Creek can be accessed by paddling along the South Shore of Lake Superior from the boat ramp at Long Bridge, which is...

Cross-country skiing is a great way to get some exercise and see parts of Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge that are otherwise inaccessible due to thick vegetation during the summer months. There are no designated trails, but you can begin your ski at any of the refuge parking lots. Be...

Many sites do not allow dogs because they can disturb wildlife. Refuges that do allow dogs generally require that they be leashed. Some sites allow hunters and sledders to bring dogs.

The refuge provides aquatic habitat that supports fishable populations of game fish in lower Whittlesey Creek, in Little Whittlesey Creek and along the shore of Lake Superior. Little if any game fishing opportunity is available in Terwilliger Creek. Nineteen fish species have been identified in...

Take your pick of 2,100 miles of refreshing trails and boardwalks. Whether you want a short, easy walk or a challenging hike, you’re likely to find what you want. Some trails are paved and universally accessible. Some trails include displays on visual arts, local history and culture or environmental education.

Whittlesey Creek NWR protects wetlands along Lake Superior as well as a beautiful trout stream that provides habitat for spawning fish from the lake. For hunters, the refuge offers a good waterfowl hunting opportunity along the coastal wetlands of the lake east of Highway 13. While Lake Superior...

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.
Whether you wield a smartphone or a zoom lens, you’ll find photo-worthy subjects at national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. Wildlife photography is a priority public use on national wildlife refuges, so you’ll find wildlife drives and blinds and overlooks to help you get the images you’re after.
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.
Many refuges in the country's northern tier have backcountry trails that can be used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in season. Some refuges loan out gear or rent it at low cost.
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.