Discover abundant wildlife close to home. In any direction from the heart of the cities, you’re 30 minutes from your National Wildlife Refuges.
The mission of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
The National Wildlife Refuges of the Portland-Vancouver Metro Area are our common ground; places we can all connect with nature's bounty of benefits, no matter which one speaks most strongly to each of us.
Shared by all Americans for the protection of wildlife, the refuges of Portland-Vancouver also offer people the opportunity deepen their understanding and appreciation of our natural resources through experiencing the nature of the Pacific Northwest.
Like nature's giant hug around an urban population, the reufgues of Portland-Vancouver can be found no matter which direction you head from the cities.
To the north, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge offers a glimpse of both the natural and cultural history of the area. Located near the connection of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, the area has been vital to wildlife and humans alike. You can enjoy trails, an auto tour, a full-size replica of a traditional Cathlopotle plankhouse, and a number of engaging programs.
To the south is Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, where in a short distance from Portland the honking of cars is replaced by the honking of geese. You and your family will feel welcomed by a beautiful visitor center, easy-to-access trails and overlooks, guided programs, and an incredible variety of the region's signature species.
To the east lies Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, the gateway to the Columbia River Gorge. Here, in addition to breathtaking views and a vibrant wildlife community, you will find a one-of-a-kind art trail. Easy to walk, the installations along the trail share nature's wisdom and insights in non-traditional ways, inviting you to draw your own conclusions about our place in the environment.
To the west is Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge, the newest of this quartet of wild landscapes. While not yet open to the public, restoration plans are underway that will help this up-and-comer take its place among the rest of our region's natural treasures.