Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Established in 1935, this refuge sandwiched between U.S. 2 and the Canadian border encompasses more than 30,000 acres of wetlands that provide habitat for dozens of mammal species, including beavers, muskrats, and bobcats, and a variety of shorebirds and upland birds. Medicine Lake hosts one of the largest concentrations of American pelicans in the nation. There are few facilities available, but that's the point. The refuge has a relatively high visitation from hard-core birders who view migrating waterbirds in the spring and hunters who pursue upland game birds and waterfowl in the fall. Other than those seasons, you'll have the refuge to yourself. Bring good boots and long pants and hike into remote ponds and prairie potholes that hold an unbelievable amount of wildlife. Winding through the central unit of the refuge is the Auto Tour Route, an excellent way to get a peek at the animals that call this pristine park home. Most of the route is open only during daylight hours.


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