Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

The Refuge provides over 9,000 acres of protected lands and managed wetlands for wildlife. Sixteen shallow-water impoundments provide more than 4,700 acres of freshwater wetlands. Adjacent uplands, which include grasslands, shrub fields and forested tracts, are also actively managed for wildlife.

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Visit Montezuma’s US Fish and Wildlife Service Page.

As part of the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System, the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge provides for “…the conservation, management, and restoration of fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats… for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.”

While operating under a National vision for the Refuge System where “wildlife comes first,” the Refuge offers many opportunities for public access to this natural resource. Miles of hiking trails, several observation towers and the popular “Wildlife Drive” provide access. A Visitor Center is open spring, summer and fall and serves as a gathering point for informational and educational programs, as well as, providing excellent wildlife viewing (Inset A). The Friends operate a Nature Store in the Center. Volunteers are on hand to help the public enjoy their visit. Local radio and “Guide by Cell” services provide additional support. A photo blind off the “Wildlife Drive” is available on a first come, first served basis. Hunting and trapping opportunities are provided through a permit program on selected sites. Fishing and boating is allowed in the nearby NY State Barge Canal. For more information, visit Montezuma National Refuge on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s website

Refuge Hours

  • Refuge Headquarters Office – 8:00AM-4:30PM, weekdays
  • Visitor Center/The Lodge Nature Store – Mid-March through Late November – 10:00AM-3:00PM weekdays; 10:00AM-4:00PM weekends (call ahead to be sure we’re open)
  • Outdoor facilities (trails, observation areas) – ½ hour before sunrise – ½ hour after sunset; Esker Brook and South Spring Pool trails are closed annually November 1 – mid-December