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

Best Time to Visit

Our sites span all 50 states and five territories. Some places offer things to see and do year-round. Others are season-specific. Time of year often will influence what you can see or do. Dawn and dusk generally are the best times of day to see wildlife.​


Wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries host numerous conservation-oriented programs, festivals and events throughout the year.


Most places are free. A handful charge a nominal entrance fee. Sometimes fees or permits are required for specific activities such as huntingcamping or fishing

Recreate Responsibly

To help ensure that wildlife and people thrive, please recreate responsibly.

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 wood turtle standing in leaves.
Science and Technology
Service Signs Agreement to Advance Collaborative Conservation of At-Risk Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Alliance of Forest Owners and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc., announced today a memorandum of understanding which formalizes the Wildlife Conservation Initiative, a collaborative partnership focused on advancing the...
A Northern long-eared bat between rocks with white like powder on its nose.
Wildlife Management
Grant Funding Will Advance a Novel Immune-based Strategy to Prevent White-nose Syndrome in North American Bats
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, today announced receipt of a more than $2.5 million grant to develop an innovative treatment to prevent white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease decimating North American bat populations.
3 people in boat fishing
$20M to Support Boating Infrastructure, Local Communities and Outdoor Recreation
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced more than $20 million in grant funding to assist states and territories in the construction, renovation and maintenance of marinas and other boating facilities for outdoor recreation. Reauthorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this year’s...
A swimming eastern brook trout, a colorful fish with red fins along a yellow belly, and yellow and red spots on its olive green body.
Habitat Restoration
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Partners Announce More than $39.2 Million for Fish Habitat
Through the National Fish Habitat Partnership, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners are providing more than $39.2 million to support 95 fish habitat conservation projects in 24 states.

Upcoming Events

View the upcoming events at our national wildlife refuge facilities.

Outdoor Activity

The month of March is Mes CHamoru and the Guam National Wildlife Refuge – Ritidian Unit is celebrating their 3rd annual Ha’ånen Litekyan (Ritidian Day)! Come and celebrate with us!

Children ages seven to 17-years-old can participate in a free youth fishing...

Guam National Wildlife Refuge
Nature Center

Wildlife Photowalks are designed to photograph all kinds of wildlife including birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, insects, wildflowers, etc., while we learn how to do it well and avoid wildlife photography pitfalls. We discuss technique, gear, and essential knowledge about photography and...

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
Outdoor Activity

Join a Ranger for a bird identification walk at the Refuge! Learn bird calls, bird identification, and other avian facts. All skill levels welcome! Bring your own binoculars or borrow a pair from us. Photographers are welcome as well. The walks are at the Visitor Center on Waverly Road, every...

Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Refuge Visitor Center (Waverly Road)
View all Events