Rydell National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota.

Rydell National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1992 by means of a land donation from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The purpose of the refuge is to protect wildlife habitat and diversity, encourage waterfowl and other migratory bird production and promote environmental education and recreation.

The hardwood forests located in and around the refuge are the most westerly maple-basswood forests in Minnesota. The intersection of forests, lakes, wetlands and prairie makes the refuge a great place to see nearly 200 bird species. The refuge also includes a 17 acre bog wetland, a unique acidic environment that supports the growth of the tiny, carnivorous sundew plant.

At least 19 farmsteads, many of them log structures, were once located on the refuge. The Strom Building has been protected under a canopy and is located along the seven mile trail system. We invite you to explore the natural and cultural resources of Rydell National Wildlife Refuge.

Rydell National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most accessible refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The refuge has a seasonal visitor center that provides information about the local wildlife and serves as the starting point for the seven mile trail system that includes five miles of paved trails for easy accessibility. Five trails are open to hiking, bicycling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Gazebos on the trails offer opportunities to watch and photograph wildlife. Contact refuge staff prior to your visit if you have special access needs.

Nearby Activities


Rydell National Wildlife Refuge is located along U.S. Highway 2, approximately 60 miles east of East Grand Forks, between Erskine and Mentor, Minnesota. From U.S. highway 2, turn south on Polk County Road 210 and follow for approximately 2.5 miles to the refuge gate. Various directional signs are located along the route.

Additional Information