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.


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.


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

A black-necked stilt benefits from the habitat at Huron Wetland Management District in South Dakota.
Migratory Species
Migratory Birds to Benefit from More Than $21 Million in Funding Throughout the Americas
More than two decades after the first Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act grants were awarded, birds and people throughout the Americas will benefit from a new round of projects, totaling more than $21 million in federal grants and matching funds.
A graphic of light blue waves on a blue background
Habitat Restoration
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funds $13M in Orphaned Well Cleanup
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will put more than $13 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding to work to plug 175 orphaned oil and gas wells on six national wildlife refuges in Louisiana and Oklahoma, helping communities eliminate environmental and public safety hazards caused by...
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Endangered Species Act
Service Proposes to List Four Species of Sturgeon in Eurasia as Endangered Under the ESA
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list four species of sturgeon in Eurasia - the Russian, Persian, ship and stellate sturgeon - as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ancient freshwater fish are native to the Black, Azov, Caspian, Aegean and Aral sea basins of...
Pink flowers of Nelson's checkermallow
Endangered Species Act
Celebration and Reflection on Endangered Species Day
We take pride that more than 99% of all species protected under the Endangered Species Act in its nearly 50 years are still with us. But the world faces a crisis of extinction. Climate change has added threats like sea level rise and exacerbated existing ones such as habitat loss.
Close up of a California condor. Its pink featherless head contrasts with its black feathers.
Wildlife Management
California condor chick hatches on ‘Condor Cam’
The Condor Cam returned for the seventh year with a live streaming video, and on May 14 at 05:42 am, viewers around the world got a real-time look at a hard-won conservation success story with a first sighting of a freshly hatched condor chick.
a close up photo of a fisher
Wildlife Management
5 Species Supported By The State Wildlife Grant Program
Since 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program has distributed over $1 billion to states, territories, and D.C. through the State Wildlife Grant Program (SWG). These funds are used by state and U.S. territory fish and wildlife agencies to develop and...

Upcoming Events

View the upcoming events at our national wildlife refuge facilities.

Succession, or the changes and area makes over time, is an important component of creating habitat for different species with varying needs. Natural disasters such as flooding, wildfires, or human activity can return areas to grasslands, which eventually grow into forests. Join ACE member...

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Freeland Boardwalk

Join us to see what birds are frequenting Freeland! Jim Triplett will be leading us along Freeland Boardwalk to see which birds have been visiting us. Meet at the Visitor Center at 7:30am before traveling as a group to the boardwalk to watch and listen for which birds are here.

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Visitor Center

Join a Refuge naturalist on a birding odyssey, as we explore all the habitats and avian diversity of the Refuge! Both migratory and resident birds will be identified. All levels of birders, from beginners to advanced are welcome! A limited number of binoculars will be available to borrow. This...

Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Refuge Visitor Center (Waverly Road)
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