Spotlight: Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week − October 13-19, 2013
Butterflies, birds and bears—a special time to visit your National Wildlife Refuges!
What You’ll Find
Ever see monarch butterflies by the dozens, skies full of migrating birds or other seasonal wonders? Now is your chance to enjoy our wild neighbors during National Wildlife Refuge Week, October 13-19. Enjoy special events and everything from bird walks to kayak tours, with lots of family-friendly festivities in between. Discover how refuges conserve your natural heritage.
The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world’s premier public conservation network, protecting more than 150 million acres of wildlife habitat in 561 refuges and 38 wetland management districts. Refuges offer outstanding recreational opportunities, from fishing, hiking and birding to paddling, snowshoeing and wildlife photography. Events are low-cost or free and entrance is free to all refuges on October 13.
Did you know that every U.S. state has at least one national wildlife refuge? Plan to include a refuge as part of your next trip—there is one within an hour’s drive of most major cities. Use this refuge locator to help guide you to the nearest one!
See a list of the 2013 Refuge Week events and find even more activities on our special events calendar.
Enjoy a sampling of the dozens of events planned for this special week:
- Log Cabin Day Festival, Saturday, October 12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, Indiana. Enjoy old-time crafts, music, wildlife exhibits and children's activities.
- “Go Wild,” Sunday, October 13 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia. Build a bluebird house. Take a guided kayak tour. Enjoy nature walks, crafts and storytelling.
- The Big Sit! Sunday, October 13, at many refuges. Help count and report bird species seen or heard from a 17-foot-diameter circle. At St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Florida, the action will take place at the lighthouse observation deck from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
These tools will help you plan a refuge adventure:
- Interactive fishing guide and hunting guide to discover the best fishing and hunting opportunities on refuges.
- A trails guide reveals the best hiking and walking trails on refuges.
- A birding page highlights birding hot spots across the country.
- Other “fun on refuges” – a guide to other activities you can do on refuges such as biking, exploring lighthouses, etc.
If you can't make it during National Wildlife Refuge week, anytime is a good time to visit a refuge!
Did You Know?
National wildlife refuges provide habitat for species including more than 700 birds, 220 mammals, 250 reptile and amphibians and more than 1,000 fish. More than 380 threatened or endangered plants or animals are also protected. Annually, millions of migrating birds use refuges as stepping stones while they fly thousands of miles between their summer and winter homes.