Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, located relatively close to the confluence of two of the Nation's great rivers, the Ohio and Mississippi, the refuge's 44,000 areas is ideally situated to provide a migration haven for the thousands waterfowl and other migrating birds that journey the Mississippi Flyway each fall and spring.
The refuge has many faces. On the north side of the refuge Crab Orchard Lake is an outdoor enthusiasts dream come true. This 7,000 acer lake offers two campgrounds, marinas, and several boat launching ramps. Throw in fishing sites, hunting opportunities, picnic areas, and swimming and you begin to understand why this refuge is one of the most visited in the Nation.
Drive the roads on the refuge's south side and you discover another Crab Orchard filled with pristine lakes, nature trails with waterfalls, and a National Wilderness Area offering a place to seek relaxation, adventure, or something in between.
On the refuge's east side, you will find great opportunities for wildlife viewing, photography, biking and educational activities at the visitor center and you may find yourself coming back again and again.
All vehicle entering Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge are required to pay an entrance fee. A valid pass must be displayed. Visitors in possession of a current and signed Federal Duck Stamp or American the Beautiful Interagency Pass may stop by the visitor center for a free vehicle hang tag.
If purchasing your pass on-site, no printed copy of the pass will be available. Instead, your license plate number will be used to confirm compliance.
If purchasing a pass in advance, a printed copy of the pass is recommended for your vehicle. Fold the printed pass on the dotted line and display it on your vehicle dashboard, with the quick response (QR) code visible at all times during your visit.
Visitors may trade a paper Annual Pass for a wallet card and a sticker for their vehicle or vessel. Please see a park ranger at the visitor center during your visit for details.
This pass does not guarantee parking availability. For your safety, please remember that parking outside of designated parking areas is discouraged and visitors who park illegally may be fined and towed. This pass is valid until 11:59 PM of the date listed on the pass, and only for the date and vehicle or vessel specified for this pass.
The visitor center is open daily from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm and closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Days. The refuge public use areas are open 24 hours.
Passes are non-transferable, non-refundable, not replaceable if lost or stolen, and are void if altered or reproduced.