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

bottomland hardwood forest
Land Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acquires Nearly 250 Acres in East Texas
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has acquired nearly 250 acres of bottomland hardwood and pine forest with 4 miles of Neches River frontage at Neches River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in East Texas.
orange and blue sky over water
Land Management
Great American Outdoors Act Makes Public Lands More Accessible
The nation’s public lands are for everyone, and we at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are celebrating the two-year anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act, which is helping make greater access possible.
A pond at Camas National Wildlife Refuge with tall grass in the foreground and snowcapped mountains in the background.
Land Management
Idaho Refuge Begins $7.8 Million Project
The project will rehabilitate the water delivery systems of Camas NWR, improve wildlife habitat, enhance public access to better support visitors with disabilities, and improve roadways to support birdwatchers, photographers and hunters.
View of wetlands from the boardwalk at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland.
Get Involved
Service Seeks Public Input to Improve Access to Federal Lands
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it is asking the public to identify Service-managed lands where people would most like to see new or improved public recreation access. This effort continues the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to expand public access to federal lands and ensure...
Adult salamander crawls through short grass.
Wildlife Management
Service Seeks Public Comments on Establishing Objectives and Standards for Conservation Banking
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comments to assist in developing a proposed rule establishing objectives, measurable performance standards and criteria for use, consistent with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for species conservation banking.
group stand outside, many wearing Zeta blue
Our Partners
Director Williams Visits With Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
Our Director, Martha Williams, visited with members of partner Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, America’s first urban national wildlife refuge.

Upcoming Events

View the upcoming events at our national wildlife refuge facilities.

Outdoor Activity

The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is partnering with Transform Network to teach our community about being mindful in nature through a guided meditation hike! Sign up today to melt some stress away!

Please note:

1. The hike will be on the Humbug Marsh Unit...

Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

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
View all Events