U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Banner graphic displaying the Fish & Wildlife Service logo and National Wildlife Refuge System tagline

National Wildlife Refuge

11296 Wood Duck Lane
Guy Mills, PA   16327
E-mail: fw5rw_ernwr@fws.gov
Phone Number: 814-789-3585
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Gray horizontal line
Erie National Wildlife Refuge

Erie National Wildlife Refuge is located in Crawford County, 35 miles south of the City of Erie and 10 miles east of Meadville on the outskirts of Guys Mills village.

The refuge consists of two separate land units. The Sugar Lake Division, containing 5,206 acres, is the unit closest to Guys Mills. The Seneca Division, containing 3,594 acres, is 10 miles north of the Sugar Lake Division and borders French Creek near Cambridge Springs.

The primary objective of the refuge is to provide waterfowl and other migratory birds with nesting, feeding, brooding, and resting habitat. Other objectives are to provide habitat to support a diversity of wildlife species and to enhance opportunities for wildlife-oriented public recreation and environmental education.

The diverse habitat types found on Erie NWR attract over 237 species of birds, 47 species of mammals and 37 species of amphibians and reptiles. Waterfowl migrations occur from March to early April and again from September to November.

Getting There . . .
Interstate I-79 North to Exit 141; follow attraction signs along Route 285 East to Route 173 North to refuge.

Interstate I-79 South to Exit 154; follow attraction signs along Route 198 to refuge.

Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:

Your full starting address AND town and state OR zip code

Google Maps opens in a new window

NOTE: When using this feature, you will be leaving the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service domain. We do not control the content or policies of the site you are about to visit. You should always check site policies before providing personal information or reusing content.

These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

horizontal line

Wildlife and Habitat

Click here to learn more about Wildlife and Habitat on Erie NWR.

Learn More>>

Erie NWR was established in 1959. The land was purchased with funds provided from the sale of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps (also known as Duck Stamps). The refuge is a namesake of the Erie Indians, a Native American tribe that resided in the area.

Learn More>>

    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
Learn More >>

Management Activities
Over 2,500 acres of wetland, including beaver ponds, marshes, swamps, manmade impoundments, creeks and wet meadows, provide desirable habitat for a variety of migratory birds and waterfowl. Water control structures on refuge impoundments permit the manipulation of water levels to encourage waterfowl use and the growth of desirable wetland plants. Grasslands have been developed near wetlands to provide dense nesting cover for ground-nesting waterfowl. Prescribed burning is used as a management tool on those grasslands.

Early successional habitat is being maintained by mowing and the use of selected forestry practices. Hundreds of artificial nesting structures are provided across the refuge to increase wood duck and bluebird production. In addition, there is a hunting and trapping program and an invasive weeds program to prevent increased habitat damage and to maintain a diverse and healthy level of wildlife and habitat.

Participation in the Pennsylvania Partners for Wildlife Program contributes to the goals of the Ohio River Valley Ecosystem and the North American Waterfowl Management in addition to enhancing opportunities for wildlife-oriented public recreation and environmental education.

Erie NWR has been formally designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA), and a Globally Significant Watershed. There are 22 Natural Heritage Areas, 19 Special Plant and Animal Species Habitats, four Natural Communities of Biological Significance and Research Natural Areas that require management.

Learn More>>