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

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”...
Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Wildlife Wonders
Happy Pollinator Week!
This week is National Pollinator Week and we’re celebrating all of the amazing pollinator species that are critical to healthy ecosystems, our nation’s food security and the economy!
Greater flamingo foraging in the water
Wildlife Wonders
Great animal dads for Father’s Day
Want to give your dad a great compliment this Father’s Day? Tell him he’s flamingo-esque. Or that a ruddy duck has nothing on him. You might have a little explaining to do, but flamingos and ruddy ducks are just a few of the great animal dads out there.
sunbeams coming through clouds over sagebrush lands in Colorado
Habitat Restoration
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Fund Sagebrush Projects in the West
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced that the Biden-Harris administration will invest more than $9 million in fiscal year 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds to support projects to restore and conserve strategic areas within the sagebrush ecosystem.
Oregon semaphore grass at one of the natural population sites
Habitat Restoration
The Burns Paiute Tribe and the Rarest Grass in Oregon
On an October morning in 2021, three Burns Paiute Tribe wildlife program staff, one USDA-Agricultural Research Service ecologist, eight volunteers organized by Portland Audubon, and one U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service archaeologist arrived at the mountain meadows of Logan Valley with shovels,...
birds in an orange sky
Service Promotes Public Access to Hunting and Fishing
Continuing the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to increase recreational access on public lands, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced new proposed hunting and fishing opportunities for game species at 19 national wildlife refuges on approximately 54,000 acres nationwide.

Upcoming Events

View the upcoming events at our national wildlife refuge facilities.

The June walks will feature birds that nest on the refuge. Learn which species use the refuge as a migratory stop over and those that migrate to the refuge to nest.  Birders of all skill levels are welcome on these walks. 

Registration Information: ...

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Old Cedar Ave

Join a Refuge naturalist on a birding odyssey, as we explore all the habitats and avian diversity of the Refuge! Both migratory and resident birds will be identified. All levels of birders, from beginners to advanced are welcome! A limited number of binoculars will be available to borrow. This...

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

Stop by the boardwalk bridge and learn how to draw a dragonfly! All supplies provided and no registration needed.

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
View all Events