Opportunities for outdoor recreation draw millions of people each year to national wildlife refuges, boosting local economies. Many visitors enjoy hiking, paddling, wildlife viewing or nature photography. Others take part in heritage sports such as hunting and fishing. All these activities offer visitors a chance to unplug from the stresses of modern life and reconnect with their natural surroundings.

Plan Your Visit

Things to Do

National wildlife refuges provide a variety of activities such as walking, fishing, bird-watching, canoeing, and hunting that offer the chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings.

View Recreational Activities

Things to See

National wildlife refuges are world-renowned as places to see great seasonal migrations of fish and wildlife, iconic animals life bison and bears, and more ordinary creatures thriving in their natural habitats.

Passes and Permits

Some 30 national wildlife refuges charge visitors a nominal entrance fee (generally $3-$5 daily) to cover road and facility maintenance. If you are a regular visitor or would like to visit other public lands, you could save by buying a Federal Duck Stamp or an America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes, your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites.


Find a Refuge Near You

Ways to Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved at any facility in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Learn about the ways you can help out at your local refuge.


The Fish and Wildlife Service enters into agreements with a wide range of organizations at the national, regional, and local levels.

Youth Programs

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) enjoys a proud history working with a range of youth organizations to help young people develop academic, leadership, and citizenship skills.


Since 2010, the National Wildlife Refuge System has embarked on strategically and collaboratively addressing the mounting challenges faced by conserving America's wild plants, fish, animals and their habitats in our rapidly changing world.

Learning Opportunities

Outdoor Learning provides you with links to fun facts and info you can use for every trip to our refuges. 

Latest Stories

A mexican wolf with a green and red radio collar stands looking at the camera
Endangered Species Act
Service Finalizes Changes to Mexican Wolf Management Rule 
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized revised management regulations for Mexican wolves in the wild. The final rule includes a modified population objective, a new genetic objective, and temporarily restricts three forms of take within the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area in...
adult wyoming toad swimming among aquatic vegetation
Endangered Species Act
More Than $9 Million Awarded for Endangered Species Care During Pandemic
Together with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we are distributing awards of over $9 million in additional federal reimbursements under the Endangered Species COVID-19 Relief program, funded by the American Rescue Plan.
Assistant Director for Migratory Birds, Jerome Ford, stands with Director Martha Williams as they hold the newly issued duck stamp.
Get Involved
New Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp Soar Into Their Debut
Hunters, birders, and stamp collectors celebrated as the 2022-2023 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp – commonly known as the Duck Stamp – went on sale. The new Federal Duck Stamp and its younger sibling, the Junior Duck Stamp, debuted and are now available for purchase.
Coho salmon swim upstream from the Pacific Ocean in Washington
Wildlife Wonders
Life Along the Fish Highway: Fish Migration Across America
Fish are on the move and not just during Ocean Month each June! Yup, fish migrate in all kinds of ways – from oceans to rivers, streams to seas, within a single watershed, or even between deep and shallow water. Some fish travel just a short distance while others may swim hundreds to thousands of...
an orange butterfly on a purple flower
Interior Department Commits to Urgent Actions to Conserve the Monarch Butterfly
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Shannon Estenoz, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Martha Williams and Senator Jeff Merkley joined science experts and policymakers at the first-ever Monarch Butterfly Summit in Washington, DC, on...
Fish Surveys at Baca National Wildlife Refuge
Endangered Species Act
Rescind Regulatory Definition of “Habitat” Under the Endangered Species Act
To better fulfill the conservation purposes of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (together the “Services”) will rescind a final rule, published in December 2020, which established a regulatory definition of “habitat”...

Upcoming Events

View the upcoming events at our national wildlife refuge facilities.

What are the differences between sea turtles and land turtles? Why are sea turtles endangered? What can you do to save these gentle giants? Find out about sea turtle conservation and learn how you can be a part of the solution.

This free event is held at the Pea Island National...

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
Outdoor Activity

If you love exploring the outdoors a nature journal is a great way to remember all of the amazing things you find. Join us at the wildlife refuge as we use our senses to investigate our environment and keep track of it all in our nature journals. Every participant will go home with a nature...

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Refuge Visitor Center
View all Events