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.

Partnerships

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.

Outreach

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

Three students fish from pier at Masonville Cove with Baltimore skyline in background
Our Partners
Baltimore Residents Flock to Masonville Cove to Connect with Nature 
In celebration of National Public Lands Day, families today explored the nation’s first urban wildlife refuge partnership through a variety of activities at Masonville Cove. The site, which includes 70 acres of water and 54 acres of restored wetlands and nature trails in the heart of Baltimore City...
A group of people pose with the winning artwork depicting trumpeter swans.
Wildlife Management
Minnesota Artist Joseph Hautman Wins 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest
After two days of competition, Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota, emerged as the winner of the 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest with his painting of three tundra swans flying over a wetland.
Blue-winged Teal hen and ducklings swimming at Huron Wetland Management District South Dakota
Migratory Species
Interior Department Announces Nearly $105 Million for Wetland Conservation Projects and Refuges
The Department of the Interior today announced that more than $31 million in grants has been approved by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, which will conserve or restore 116,305 acres of wetland and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds and other birds in 18 states. The...
Mallard in flight during dusk.
Our Partners
Departments of the Interior and Agriculture Announce Members of Federal Council to Support Hunting, Conservation Efforts
In advance of National Hunting and Fishing Day on September 24, the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture today announced 18 members of the Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council.  
Green and white island marble butterfly on a blade of grass
Science and Technology
Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize Winners Announced
From an invasive reptile trapping system to a nucleic acid barcode that identifies poached and trafficked wildlife products anywhere in the world, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Theodore Roosevelt (TR) Genius Prize winners and their technological innovations will help address conservation...
whiskered nutria rodent peers out from marsh grass
Wildlife Management
Decades-long Partnership Eradicates Destructive Nutria Rodents from Maryland
The Chesapeake Bay Nutria Eradication Project (CBNEP) announced at an event at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge today that Maryland is now free of the exotic, invasive nutria.

Upcoming Events

View the upcoming events at our national wildlife refuge facilities.

Presentation

Honeybees are the most well-known and studied of all the pollinators. We will look at the three kinds of honeybees and their life cycle and how beekeepers use this information to raise honeybee colonies and collect honey, while at the same time protect the honeybees from disease and predators....

Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge
Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
Outdoor Activity
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff and volunteers will lead two guided hikes to the top of Pilot Knob National Wildlife Refuge. The public hike will be held on Wednesday September 28,  2022. The hikes will take place at 9:00 a.m. and participants will meet at Battle of Pilot Knob State...
Pilot Knob National Wildlife Refuge
Pilot Knob National Wildlife refuge

Do your little ones love books (and butterflies)? Join us for story time in the visitor center pollinator garden with our local children's librarian. Stories begin at 11am, and will be followed by a craft or trip to Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm next door to see the farm animals! No...

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Visitor Center
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