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.

Partnerships

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.

Outreach

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

Two bald eagles perched along a nest
Wildlife Management
Service Proposes Improvements To Incidental Take Permit Process for Eagles
Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing improvements for how it processes permits for the incidental take of bald and golden eagles. The bald eagle’s recovery is one of the United States’ most important wildlife conservation success stories, yet the future of golden eagle populations...
a turtle with its legs tucked inside crossing a trail
Wildlife Crime
Brothers sentenced for roles in conspiracy to smuggle native turtles from the U.S.
Prison sentences follow after more than 600 turtles were stuffed in socks and bound with tape inside mislabeled boxes to avoid detection.
Mallard in flight during dusk.
Our Partners
Departments of the Interior and Agriculture Announce Members of Federal Council to Support Hunting, Conservation Efforts
In advance of National Hunting and Fishing Day on September 24, the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture today announced 18 members of the Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council.  
Three students fish from pier at Masonville Cove with Baltimore skyline in background
Our Partners
Baltimore Residents Flock to Masonville Cove to Connect with Nature 
In celebration of National Public Lands Day, families today explored the nation’s first urban wildlife refuge partnership through a variety of activities at Masonville Cove. The site, which includes 70 acres of water and 54 acres of restored wetlands and nature trails in the heart of Baltimore City...
A group of people pose with the winning artwork depicting trumpeter swans.
Wildlife Management
Minnesota Artist Joseph Hautman Wins 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest
After two days of competition, Joseph Hautman of Plymouth, Minnesota, emerged as the winner of the 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest with his painting of three tundra swans flying over a wetland.
Blue-winged Teal hen and ducklings swimming at Huron Wetland Management District South Dakota
Migratory Species
Interior Department Announces Nearly $105 Million for Wetland Conservation Projects and Refuges
The Department of the Interior today announced that more than $31 million in grants has been approved by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, which will conserve or restore 116,305 acres of wetland and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds and other birds in 18 states. The...

Upcoming Events

View the upcoming events at our national wildlife refuge facilities.

Presentation

Cold stunning is a condition like hypothermia that is brought on when cold-blooded sea turtles are in water temperatures below 50F. Cold stunning slows movements of afflicted sea turtles, which causes the animals to wash ashore on New York beaches. Left untreated, this condition can become fatal...

Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge
Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
Outdoor Activity

Join Naturalist Louise Bacon-Ogden for a walk along the Shorebird Loop Trail.

Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Salmon Creek Unit - Visitor Center & Shorebird Loop Trail
Outdoor Activity

Join us for a guided walk and activities at St. Marks NWR for children 18 months to 47 months old and their care givers on the first Thursday of each month. Meet in the education building before going outside. Registration is required. Call +1 850 925-6121 to register.

Be sure...

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
Refuge Nature's Classroom
View all Events