Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you do the following:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Face masks are required in all federal buildings and on all federal lands.
  • Maintain a safe distance between yourself and other groups.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick

Around the Refuge

Visitor Activities

Photography at Salt Meadow

There are activities year-round at Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge including wildlife observation, photography, environmental education and hunting. Visit the Visitor Activities page to learn more.

Visitor Activities

The Islands

Beach at Calf Island

The Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge includes a variety of islands that are extremely important to Connecticut's coastal wildlife.

Learn more about the units that make up the refuge.

Falkner Island Story Map

Story map promo

Falkner Island in Guilford is home to thousands of charismatic seabirds that nest and raise their young. It's not open to visitors most of the year to protect habitat. But now you can visit it virtually any time with our new story map!

Falkner Island Story Map

Urban Oases Project

Children running - USFWS.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the Urban Oases project in the New Haven Harbor Watershed as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership. Learn more by visiting our Urban Oasis Project page below.

Urban Oases Project
Prescribed Fire at Refuge in Stratford

Rx Fire Part of Larger Habitat Improvement

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that there will be a prescribed burn at the Great Meadows Unit of the refuge in Stratford in spring 2021. See link for press release.

GMU_Prescribed_FIRE_press_release_03 11_2021

New Recreational Hunt Program

Hunting Permit Information and Regulations

Hunting is one of the six public uses encouraged and facilitated on national wildlife refuges. In August, 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a plan expanding hunting opportunities here. Click the link below to be taken to our Visitor Activities page to read about our offerings and download our Recreational Hunting Plan.

Visitor Activities - Hunting

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS