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Detroit Lakes
Wetland Management District

duckling in nest surrounded by empty egg shells
26624 N. Tower Road
Detroit Lakes, MN   56501 - 7959
E-mail: detroitlakes@fws.gov
Phone Number: 218-847-4431
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
The Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District protects more than 50,000 acres of waterfowl nesting habitat.
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  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
The district office has a small visitor reception area with modest displays of prairie habitats and wildlife. District staff work with local schools, sporting groups, and other non-profit partners to develop and provide wetland and prairie educational programs. The district has long been a leader in prairie restoration and is taking a more active role in watershed and landscape-scale education efforts in the Red River Basin. Contact the district office for more information.

There are limited opportunities for fishing on various waterfowl production areas throughout the district. However, the greater Detroit Lakes area has hundreds of lakes and is well known throughout the State and Midwest for quality fishing opportunities.

Waterfowl production areas are open to public hunting, consistent with State regulations unless otherwise posted. Deer and waterfowl hunting are the primary public uses of WPAs in the Detroit Lakes District. Upland gamebird hunting opportunities are limited.

The district office has a small visitor reception area with modest displays of prairie habitats and wildlife.

Wildlife Observation
Various WPAs throughout the district provide exceptional opportunities for wildlife observation and photography. Waterfowl, prairie chickens, and a myriad of grassland and other migratory birds provide exceptional seasonal birding opportunities throughout the district. White-tailed deer are abundant, and occasionally moose and black bear may be seen on WPAs, primarily in the northern portion of the district. Nelson Prairie WPA, in northern Mahnomen County, Helliksen Prairie WPA, in northwest Becker County, and Flickertail Prairie WPA, in northern Clay County, are excellent places to begin a wildlife observation or birding trip. Additionally, these and many other WPAs provide outstanding opportunities to view, photograph, and appreciate native plant species of the tallgrass prairie.

Public use facilities are available on the Headquarters WPA located on North Tower Road one mile north of the Detroit Lakes city limits. The fully accessible deck offers a panoramic view of the Prairie Marsh; the boardwalk provides a close-up look at the plants and wildlife that inhabit the marsh; and the 1.5-mile Prairie Marsh interpretive hiking trail allows visitors to walk through a variety of prairie and wooded habitats. These facilities are part of the recently developed Pine to Prairie Birding Trail, Minnesota's first official birding trail, which runs from Fergus Falls in west-central Minnesota to Warroad in the northwestern part of the State.

Refuge Headquarters and Vistor's Center - Open 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday.

Entrance Fees
There is no entrance fee. Waterfowl Production Areas are open to walk-in access only. Parking areas are provided at numerous WPAs throughout the district.

- Refuge Profile Page -