Thirty-Minute Activities on the “Upper Miss” Refuge

Summer weather is upon us at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Upper Miss Refuge). If you are one of the many who are looking for activities to engage in, join us in participating in one or all five of these thirty-minute activities around the refuge. These locations are all open for the public to enjoy!

More than ever folks are exploring their outdoor recreational opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, refuge interns have created a resource to highlight five locations where visitors can spend thirty minutes or more enjoying the outdoors. Among these locations are the Shady Maple Interpretive Trail, which is adjacent to the Goose Island County Park and Lytles Landing, which provides fishing access and access to the Great River State Bike Trail. All five locations have been highlighted on the Refuge Facebook page and can be found on our website

The Upper Miss Refuge encourages you to enjoy your public lands and remember to recreate responsibly. When visiting these locations, remember to leave no trace and pack out your trash. If you choose to bring a "furry friend", always keep them leashed to help protect our wildlife. While most of our Refuge lands and waters are open for public enjoyment, offices and visitor centers will remain closed until further notice.

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge is the most visited refuge in the United States. The refuge extends 261 miles along the Upper Mississippi River from Wabasha, Minn. to Rock Island, Ill., protecting and preserving habitat for migratory birds, fish, and a variety of other wildlife.

In addition to being the most visited refuge in the country, the “Upper Miss” Refuge has the added complexity of a major navigation system, including 11 locks and dams, within its boundary. It is also a world-class fish and wildlife area which harbors 306 species of birds; 119 species of fish; and more than 300 active bald eagle nests.