Pin It

50 Campfires Magazine : Free Subscription

Claim your free subscription to the 50 Campfires Magazine! We send it out on the first of each month, full of tips & tricks, recipes, gear and more!
Email address
First Name
Last Name
national wildlife refuge

Have You Checked Out Your Local National Wildlife Refuge Lately?

You’ve probably been to the state and city parks in your area. If you’re anything like us you’re always looking for new places to explore in the winter. If you’re lucky, you live next to a National Wildlife Refuge that will give you even more options for your weekend adventures. You can find thrills exploring scenic nature trails by snowshoe, ski or sled at a National Wildlife Refuge. Some refuges even lend you the equipment for free! Keep reading to see if there is one near you!

Snowshoeing

national wildlife refuge snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

IDAHO
Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge  (northern tip of state)
Snowshoe on your choice of four trails plus a 6.2 mile auto tour route, unplowed in winter. The tour route goes by an eagle’s nest. Look, as well, for deer, elk and red-tailed hawks.

MAINE
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge  (eastern Maine)
Snowshoe the popular, one-mile Carson Trail – upland habitat to saltmarsh. Look for common eiders, bufflehead, Canada geese and common loons.

MASSACHUSETTS
Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge (eastern Massachusetts)
25+ miles of ski and snowshoe trails at Assabet River Refuge and nearby Great Meadows Refuge and Oxbow Refuge, combined.

MICHIGAN
Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (Saginaw)
17 miles of refuge trails are open to snowshoeing and skiing. Look for bald eagles, white-tailed deer, red fox and eastern cottontails.

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Bloomington
Explore the refuge on snowshoes, looking for animal tracks as you go. Snowshoes are provided free when six inches or more of snow is on the ground.

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge (eastern shore)
Take the two-mile Ferry Way Trail to the bay’s open water or a shorter trail to Upper Peverly Pond. Look for bald eagles, wild turkey, white-tailed deer and red fox.

NORTH DAKOTA
Audubon National Wildlife Refuge (about an hour north of Bismarck)
Look for white-tailed deer, ring-necked pheasants and bald eagles on the 8-mile auto tour route or the one-mile Prairie Nature Trail. Borrow snowshoes from the refuge, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

PENNSYLVANIA
Erie National Wildlife Refuge (in state’s northwest corner)
4.5 miles of ungroomed but posted trails are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

WEST VIRGINIA
Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge(near Davis)
Many of the refuge’s 31 miles of trails and roads are open to snowshoeing. The neighboring White Grass Ski Touring Center offers regular Snowshoe Discovery Tours, which lead onto the refuge. For information and current schedule: 304-866-4114

  • January 11, 10 a.m. Winter tree identification
  • January 19, 10 a.m. Natural history and formation of Canaan Valley Refuge
  • January 25, 10 a.m. Year-round birds of Canaan Valley
  • February 1, 10 a.m. Management, conservation and restoration of high-elevation forests
  • February 16, 10 a.m. Natural history and formation of Canaan Valley Refuge
  • February 22, 10 a.m. Winter bird habits

WISCONSIN
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge (central Wisconsin, 150 miles from Milwaukee)
Enjoy five miles of ungroomed snowshoe trails seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset. Borrow adult or child-size snowshoes at the visitor center. Information: 608-565-2551

Cross-country skiing

national wildlife refuge cross country skiing

Cross-country skiing

ALASKA
Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (southern coast)
16 miles of forested ski and snowshoe trails.

IDAHO
Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge (northern tip of state)
Ski the refuge’s auto tour route, closed to cars in winter. A complete loop is 6.2 miles of mostly flat terrain. Or ski four trails, totaling about four miles. Look for elk, white-tailed deer, Canada geese and tundra swans.

MAINE
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge (southern Maine)
Three ungroomed trails, each one to two miles long.
Look for white-tailed deer, fox and migratory waterfowl such as black ducks, common loons and red-breasted mergansers.

MICHIGAN
Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (Saginaw)
17 miles of refuge trails are open to snowshoeing and skiing.

MINNESOTA
Rydell National Wildlife Refuge (northern Minnesota)
Seven miles of wide, groomed trails.
Look for white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse and fishers.

Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge (north central Minnesota)
Eight miles of trails.
Look for white-tailed deer, wolves and otters.

NEW YORK
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (western New York State)
7.5 miles of ungroomed ski trails.
2.5 miles of ungroomed snowshoe trails, plus 3.5-mile Feeder Road, which is open to both skiing and snowshoeing. Look for white-tailed deer, otters and songbirds.

NORTH DAKOTA
Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge (northwestern part of state)
7.5 miles of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

WEST VIRGINIA
Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge (near Davis)
31 miles of ungroomed refuge trails plus 18 miles of trails groomed by adjacent White Grass Ski Touring Center.
Choose easy flat trails or challenging ones that climb through the woods. You may see white-tailed deer, rabbit, snowshoe hare, rough-legged hawks, wild turkey or songbirds. White Grass has equipment rentals. Information: 304- 866-3858

WISCONSIN
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge (central Wisconsin, 150 miles from Milwaukee)
A two-mile ski loop is open seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset. Information:608-565-2551

Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge (western Wisconsin)
Four miles of ungroomed trails.
Look for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, fox and otter. Snowshoes are available free.

Sleigh Rides

national wildlife refuge sleigh rides

Sleigh Rides

WYOMING
National Elk Refuge (near Jackson)
Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride past wintering elk. Sleigh rides operate daily except Christmas Day.

Winter Wildlife Tours

national wildlife refuge Winter Wildlife Tours

Winter Wildlife Tours

WYOMING
National Elk Refuge (near Jackson)
Take a self-guided Wildlife Excursions on the refuge. Drive the Refuge Road in search of bison, hawks, eagles and deer in a winter landscape. A wildlife viewing guide offers tips on where to look.

comments

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

50 Campfires Magazine : Free Subscription

Claim your free subscription to the 50 Campfires Magazine! We send it out on the first of each month, full of tips & tricks, recipes, gear and more!
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Secure and Spam free...

GET YOUR EMAIL UPDATES

Email address