Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Oklahoma.

Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge is one of more than 560 national wildlife refuges that form a network of United States lands and waters managed specifically for wildlife. Refuges provide habitat–food, water, cover, and space—for millions of migratory birds, over 380 threatened or endangered species, and thousands of species of native plants and animals. The refuge and century old town get their name from the famous Chickasaw Chief, Tishomingo and was established in 1946 as an administrative overlay of Corps of Engineers lands on a portion of the Washita Arm of Lake Texoma. The primary purpose of the refuge is to protect and manage 16,464 acres of habitat as refuge and breeding grounds for migratory birds and other wildlife. The refuge also provides wildlife-dependent recreational activities including wildlife observation and photography, fishing, hunting, environmental education, and interpretive programs for the public. Habitats within Tishomingo Refuge include 2,050 acres of wetlands, 10,000 acres of uplands, and 250 acres of croplands. These lands and waters are actively managed to support more than 284 species of birds, 41 species of mammals, 66 species of amphibians and reptiles, 67 species of butterflies and 54 species of fish. 

The Refuge has many superb places to experience birds. The headquarters boat ramp, the Arboretum Trail, the Murray 23 boat dock and Jemison Overlook are good spots to see open water birds such as ducks, geese and pelicans on the Cumberland Pool. You can find many species of sparrows as well as scissortail flycatchers, orioles, meadowlarks and many others from the Eagle Cove overlook “tower” just east of the Sandy Creek Bridge. The Craven Nature Trail is a great place to find woodpeckers, black and white warblers and blue-gray gnatcatchers in the forest section and grebes, ducks, herons and egrets from the boardwalk over Dick’s Pond. These are just a few of the wonderful sites available to view birds and other wildlife. Come early and often to experience the spectacular variety and abundance of birdlife on the refuge. 

Nearby Activities


Follow Highway 78 to the eastern edge of town. Turn south on Refuge Road, at the high school (watch for sign). Follow Refuge Road 2 miles to the refuge visitor center. 

On US Highway 75/69 North, exit on Highway 78/48 (left). Continue on Hwy. 78/48 towards Kenefic, turn left on Highway 22 and at the Nida intersection turn slightly right towards Milburn, Hwy 78. Upon entering Tishomingo (watch for sign), turn left on Refuge Road and follow for 2 miles to the refuge visitor center.  

Additional Information