Visitor Activities

Visitor Activities, canoeing

During refuge summer camps, youth go canoeing on Lake Caroline.


  • Hunting


    Hunting is permitted in designated areas on some units of Red River National Wildlife Refuge.  A signed Refuge Hunting/Fishing Permit must be carried by hunters at all times, refer to the permit for refuge specific hunting regulations including which areas of the refuge are open to hunting.  No hunting is permitted at the Headquarters’ Unit of Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City.  Refuge maps are available here.  The refuge also hosts a Youth Waterfowl Lottery Hunt each year.

  • Fishing

    Fishing at Red River NWR

    Fishing is permitted during certain times of the year at Red River National Wildlife Refuge.  A signed Refuge Hunting/Fishing Permit must be carried by anglers at all times when fishing on the refuge.  Fishing is allowed on all units of Red River National Wildlife Refuge during daylight hours only. Fishing is prohibited during the months of November – January for the waterfowl season at all refuge locations. Fishing is also closed on Lake Caroline June - July while biologists band nesting wood ducks.  Only electric trolling motors or paddling allowed on refuge waterbodies.

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Wildlife Viewing

    All refuge units offer wildlife viewing opportunities as long as you are willing to visit and walk around. White-tailed deer, armadillos, dragonflies, hawks and songbirds are everywhere.  There are bird feeders and a butterfly garden at the refuge headquarters.  From the boardwalk deck over-looking Lake Caroline or at the newly built boat ramp and fishing pier, one may see turtles, alligators, gar, ducks, herons and egrets.  Our refuge bird list includes 246 species.

  • Interpretation

    Environmental Education

    Discover more about the wildlife that calls the refuge home by enjoying the exhibits at the Visitor Center.  We offer a variety of public events throughout the year to help our visitors discover more about the wildlife of Northwest Louisiana including our annual Fall Wildlife Celebration on the third Saturday of October.  Please visit our Event Calendar to what events are coming up!

  • Environmental Education

    Interpretation Education at Visitor Center

    When staff is available, the refuge offers educational programs for schools and other interested groups.  Summer camps for kids are held each June.  Periodically we conduct educator workshops which are open to formal and non-formal educators, refuge volunteers and Friends of the Refuge.  To learn more about our program offerings and how to reserve a spot for your group click here.

  • Photography


    Many people come to Red River Refuge’s Headquarters Unit to take photographs – including portrait, landscape and wildlife images.  Nearly all the photographs used on our Visitor Center displays and exhibits on our web site and refuge brochures were taken by refuge volunteers. Also check out photos of Red River NWR on Flickr!

    Nearly 12 million people visit outdoor areas each year to photograph wildlife, and national wildlife refuges naturally are at the top of the list.  Refuges provide enhanced opportunities to photograph wildlife in natural habitats by providing platforms, brochures, interpreters, viewing areas, and tour routes.  Wildlife photography is a high-priority activity in the Refuge System.  We welcome beginning and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures on film, memory card or internal hard drive! 

  • Hiking

    Hiking on the Refuge

    In general all units of Red River National Wildlife Refuge are open for hiking during daylight hours except where posted otherwise.  There are five miles of marked, mowed walking trails at the Headquarters Unit in Bossier City.  Dogs must be leashed and owners should pick up after their dogs.  Refuge maps, including the Headquarters Unit Trail Map can be viewed here.

  • Pecan & Plum Picking

    Pecan Hunting

    Pecan nut picking in the fall and wild plum harvesting in the summer are allowed for personal enjoyment.  The property of the Headquarters’ Unit of Red River National Wildlife Refuge used to be a pecan orchard.  Tall, mature pecan trees are found by the Visitor Center, parking lot and along some of the hiking trails.  Wild Chickasaw plums grow in the fields near the yellow and orange trails.  All other plants, fruits and nuts are for the wildlife and shouldn’t be taken or picked by refuge visitors.