Seasonal Bathroom Closure

All bathrooms and porta potties along the Auto Tour Route are now closed for the season. The Auto Tour Route will remain open to vehicle traffic until Monday, December 5, weather permitting.

Fall Hunting Season Open

Hunting occurs across most of Big Stone NWR. While the granite outcrop trail and auto tour loop are closed to hunting, visitors are encouraged to stay on trail and wear blaze orange or pink while recreating during the hunting season. Visit our hunting page for more information.

Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge was originally purchased by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on May 21, 1975. The refuge currently includes 11,586 acres in Big Stone and Lac qui Parle Counties, in Minnesota.

Visit Us

The Auto Tour Route is open the first Monday in April to the first Monday in December unless otherwise noted in the alerts on our Home Page.  

Connect with your natural heritage as you experience wildlife, diverse habitats and magnificent granite outcrops at Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.

Location and Contact Information

      A refuge volunteer helps repair a boardwalk
      Seeking Volunteers!

      We are seeking volunteers to help with seasonal activities on the Refuge. These include regular maintenance tasks, mowing, trail improvements, invasive species invasive species
      An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

      Learn more about invasive species
      treatment, and more. Come join us out on the prairie!

      What We Do


      Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge will be allowing cattle grazing on two units of the Refuge beginning in 2022. Grazing unit descriptions, requirements, and maps follow below along with a bid application. Cooperators are responsible for following all terms and conditions identified in the...

      Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge and Wetland Management District are offering 17 haying opportunities. Haying is used to manage grassland habitat by providing more diverse vegetation structure for nesting birds and other species. Hay units range in size from approximately 10 to 266 acres....

      Our Organization

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 560 refuges spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.