43,000-acre Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge hosts more than 250 species of birds and is a premier production site for trumpeter swans. The refuge features nesting bald eagles, golden-winged warblers, otters, porcupine, wolves and more. A wildlife drive and visitor center offer spectacular vistas of marshes, trees and wildlife in the refuge. Enjoy hiking trails, historic sites, hunting and fishing. The refuge is in a transition zone where tallgrass prairie, hardwood and pine forests converge, making it a haven for an abundance of wildlife. The area is characterized by gently rolling hills, pristine lakes, streams, bogs, marshes, meadows and woodlands. Photo Credit Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge.
Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge offers several miles of hiking trails. On the 2.4 mile Old Indian Hiking Trail loop (accessed from County Hwy 29) you’ll follow in the footsteps of the Ojibwe people and experience the beauty of the maple basswood forest. You can even hike a portion of the 4600 mile North Country National Scenic Trail as it traverses the refuge through a variety of habitats (ccess on 400th Ave., Blackbird Wildlife Drive or Pine Lake Parking Area on County Hwy 29).
40 mammals make their home at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, including Timber wolves, white-tailed deer, black bear, fisher, river otter and moose. Bird migration in spring and fall is spectacular, including: common loon, trumpeter swan, wood duck, bald eagle, ruffed grouse, pileated woodpecker, scarlet tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, indigo bunting and 28 species of warblers are just a few of the 250+ bird species that can be seen on the refuge. Be sure to attend the Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds and enjoy a guided birding tour of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge as part of the activities.
- A self-guided wildlife drive and hiking trails provide visitors with an opportunity for exploration and a closer look at refuge habitats and wildlife. Binoculars and a camera are essential for your visit. Contact the refuge for a schedule of summer programs at 218-847-2641.
- Several lakes are open for fishing and species most sought-after include northern pike, walleye, largemouth bass and panfish. A Fishing Map and Regulations booklet is available for more information.
- Spectacular autumn colors invite ruffed grouse hunters to walk trails in search of this elusive bird. The refuge is also open for other small game, waterfowl and deer. A Hunting Map and Regulations booklet is available for more information.
- Year-round. Visitor Center Hours: 8am-4pm weekdays except federal holidays. Weekends 10am-5pm mid-May thru mid-October. 1st & 3rd Sundays 10:00am – 5:00pm Nov to mid-May. Refuge public use hours 5am-10pm.
- There are no entrance or user fees to enjoy the refuge. Free parking.
Location: Address: 35704 County Highway 26, Rochert, MN 56578 | Tel: (218) 847-2641 | Email: Tamarac@fws.gov | Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge Website | Distance from The Lodge on Lake Detroit • 22 miles
Detroit Lakes Parks & Trails
The Detroit Lakes area abounds with beautiful parks, lakes, rivers, hiking & biking trails and more. Detroit Lakes, Becker County, and the surrounding area offers so many recreational and outdoor activities that it is difficult to fit them into one visit. With over 400 lakes within a 25-mile radius, and with beautiful rivers and streams (not to mention the Mississippi Headwaters), many parks and trails have been created to provide public access.
Parks, such as the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, provide cross-country and snow mobiling trails in the winter– and even more trails for hiking and biking during the spring, summer and fall months. You can also enjoy the natural beauty from your car. The Lake Country Scenic Byway is an 88-mile corridor that follows Highways 34 and 71. Along its route, the Byway uniquely spans three different types of geographic terrain.
View Detroit Lakes Parks & Trails Guide