Visit Us

National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings.

Driving Directions

The administrative office is located 2 miles north of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, via Hwy 59 North, then 1 mile east on CR 131, at 1732 North Tower Road, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501. You can contact by phone at 218-847-4431 or email at

The main entry point of the refuge is located in the west central portion of Minnesota in Becker County on 210th Street, about 1.5 miles northeast of Audubon, Minnesota. Visitors can get to the information kiosk by following the brown and white refuge signs on state, county and township roads


There is no charge to visit.


Restrooms (pit toilets) are available outside the environmental education building located at the main entry point.

Points of Interest

State, county and township roads provide access to much of the refuge. Observers may see the spectacular mating ritual of the greater prairie chicken from mid-March through April. Excellent wildlife viewing is available at Bisson Lake, during May and June. Shorebird and prairie songbird numbers peak from middle to late-May. The Hesby Memorial Overlook with walkway and observation deck is located on the east side of Hesby Wetland. The refuge is listed on Minnesota’s first birding trail “Pine to Prairie Birding Trail”. The trail is more than 200 miles in length with 45 sites to view birds.

What To Do

If you have 15 minutes

  • Hike to the Hesby Memorial Overlook

If you have one hour

  • Take a more leisurely stroll to the Hesby Memorial Overlook

If you have half a day or more

  • Bring a pair of binoculars and bird watch along many of the bodies of water and roads within the refuge

Know Before You Go

When planning a trip to the refuge, it is important to wear appropriate footwear for land excursions and to dress for the weather. Consider bringing water, food, binoculars, field guides, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and anything else that might make the outdoor experience more enjoyable.


Hesby Memorial Overlook

Open season: Open year round

Length: 0.23 miles

Location of trail: East side of the Hesby Wetland which lies east of the main refuge kiosk

Surface: Paved

Difficulty: Easy

Information: Hiking trail that leads to an overlook above a large wetland

Other Facilities in the Complex

Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge is complexed with Detroit Lakes Wetland Management District. They work together as a network of lands providing habitat to migrating waterfowl.

Rules and Policies

Access to the refuge is open from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset. Consult the Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge public use brochure for more details about refuge regulations. Please contact refuge law enforcement with any questions at 218-844-3423.


Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge
Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge21212 210th StreetAudubon,MN56511
Headquarters Office Hours
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Lands, Roads and Trails Hours
One hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset for approved activities.