National Wildlife Refuge System
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October 2014 Events

Vulture Wings
Scouts admire the wingspan of a live vulture at Ridgefield Refuge’s annual BirdFest and Bluegrass celebration, scheduled for October 4 and 5 this year in Washington state.
Credit: Courtesy of Friends of the Ridgefield Refuge


Fall Wildlife Festival
October 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, MN
Enjoy this annual celebration of wildlife, beginning with a 5K run/walk through the refuge. The festival also features live birds, horse-drawn wagon rides, nature crafts, wildlife discovery and a silent auction. All activities are free, except the 5K. The festival takes place at the classroom site on Old Schoolhouse Road on the south side of CR9.


Wildlife Heritage Celebration
October 4, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge, WA
Celebrate your wildlife heritage and the National Wildlife Refuge System at this event highlighting the wildlife in the Columbia Basin.


Nature Walk for Health
October 4, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Take a guided nature walk along the Tidelands Trail. The 1.3-mile walk traverses endangered species habitat and offers great views of south San Francisco Bay.  Meet in front of the visitor center.


Canoe Trek
October 4, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, NY
Meet at Knowlesville Road Bridge to explore the primitive beauty of Oak Orchard Creek with experienced guides. Bring your own canoe or kayak. Life jackets are required. 


BirdFest & Bluegrass
October 4-5 — Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, WA

Celebrate the arrival of fall migration. Join in a weekend of special tours, hikes and presentations. Enjoy live music, children’s activities, food and fun.


Wilderness Campout and Hikes
October 10-12 — Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, AZ
Enjoy hikes along the Palm Canyon trail in the Kofa Wilderness. Explore nearby Kofa Queen Canyon – accessing it by four-wheel drive vehicle to Skull Rock – for an evening barbeque, interpretative talk on bats and overnight campout. In the morning, look for desert bighorn sheep and continue learning about desert plants and wildlife.


Log Cabin Day
October 11, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, IN
Attend the refuge’s annual fall festival centered around a historic log cabin at the south end of refuge. Enjoy old-time crafts, a blacksmith demonstration and interpretive tours to eagles’ nests. Savor a free ham and beans lunch.


Fall Walk
October 11, 1:30 to 3 p.m. — Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, NY
Discover Native American folklore as it pertains to the wild plants, food, medicine, and crafts. Meet at Kanyoo Trail.


National Wildlife Refuge Week
October 12 – 18
Celebrate your wildlife heritage and National Wildlife Refuge Week, which falls on the second full week in October. Many refuges will host special Refuge Week events. The nation’s 562 national wildlife refuges protect wildlife habitat while cleaning our air, filtering our water and pollinating our crops. They also provide world-class hunting and fishing and hiking. Check the special events calendar for Refuge Week events.


Among events planned:


Friday, October 10:
Wild Weekend
In celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week, Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge, IL, will offer guided canoe tours to Eagle Pond and highlight ancient cypress trees and wetland wildlife. Reservations are required: 618-634-2231. Reserve beginning September 10.


Saturday, October 11
The Marquette, IA, unit of Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge will host HawkWatch events. These include capturing and banding raptors and waterfowl, live raptor presentations and kids’ activities.


5K Run/Walk for Wildlife, Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, WI
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Celebrate Refuge Week with a race on the refuge auto tour route. Register at 9 a.m. Event starts at 10 a.m. Pre-register at Family activities and Native Landscaping Day volunteer workday activities will follow the morning run/walk.  


Log Cabin Day Festival, Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, IN
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Enjoy a festival at Myers Cabin, sponsored by Muscatatuck Wildlife Society, featuring a free ham-and-bean dinner, old-time crafts, music, wildlife exhibits and children's activities. From Sunday through the following Saturday, a normally “closed” area of the refuge will be open to walk-in visitors for bird viewing.


The Big Sit! Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, MO   
Sunrise to sunset – or any time period in between. Join a team counting and reporting bird species seen or heard from a 17-foot-diameter circle.


Sunday, October 12
The Big Sit!, Scores of refuges will host this annual birding event in which teams count and report bird species seen or heard from a 17-foot-diameter circle. Refuges participating include:


Saturday, October 18
Wildlife Festival, Patuxent Research Refuge, MD
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Enjoy live animals, children’s crafts, tram tours, scientific demonstrations and behind-the-scenes research tours of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, located on the refuge. All activities are free except tram tours, which cost $3. See where endangered whooping cranes and sea ducks are raised and studied. National Wildlife Visitor Center


Refuge Day Event, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Explore the “wild” side of the refuge during this free, fun‐filled day for the family. Activities include wildlife viewing tours, arts and crafts, live birds of prey, and exhibits from the Denver Zoo.


Bertrand Museum Collection Special Talks/Tours, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, IA
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Special museum events coincide with Refuge Week, Iowa Archeology Month and International Archaeology Day. The collection consists of artifacts from the 19th-century steamship Bertrand, which sank in the Missouri River en route to the silver mines of Montana. The day’s program is one of several planned to mark the 150th anniversary of the Bertrand sinking on April 1, 1865.


Saturday, October 25
River Paddle Ride, Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, MO
8 a.m. to noon
Enjoy a guided paddle ride down the Mingo River. Some canoes and kayaks will be available for use. Participants are also welcome to bring their own canoe or kayak. Pre-registration is required: 573-222-3589,


Ding Darling Days  – J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, FL
Sunday, October 19 - Saturday, October 25
A weeklong celebration in honor of National Wildlife Refuge Week features live animals, tram tours, sea life cruises, kayak tours, nature talks and more.


Wings Over Water
October 21 – 26
Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is a key site of this six-day annual wildlife festival that celebrates the many creatures and habitats native to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and adjacent lands. Activities include paddling, birding, photography and more.


Owl Prowl
October 25, 6:30 p.m. — Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, NY
Join a nocturnal search for owls. The walk-- off-road and involving car travel between sites – is best suited for older children and adults. Pre-registration is required: 585-948-5445 ext.2222. Group is limited to 50 participants.  Meet at refuge headquarters.


Monarch Butterfly Festival
October 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, FL
Celebrate monarchs’ long-distance migration and learn about efforts to restore habitat and protect butterflies and other pollinators. Take part in the tagging and releasing of monarchs to track the butterflies on their journey. Enjoy tours, exhibits, demonstrations, food and music.

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Last updated: August 29, 2014