Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge 

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Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

17076 293rd Ave NW
Zimmerman, MN 55398

From Elk River, MN take Highway 169 North and take the exit for Sherburne County Road 9. Go west on Co. Rd. 9 four miles to the entrance to the refuge where an information kiosk can be found.

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Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1965 and is managed to promote the health and well-being of migratory birds and their habitat.

The refuge is celebrated both for its wildlife and the extraordinary opportunities provided to visitors. The upland habitats are dynamic, ranging from grasslands to oak savanna to forest. These are interspersed with a variety of wetland and river habitats ranging from sedge meadow to deep water marsh. The refuge is designated as a state Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. Today, visitors may still discover the excitement that might have been felt over 100 years ago, as early pioneers stepped out of the “Big Woods” and onto the edge of Minnesota’s magnificent tallgrass prairie.

In October, thousands of sandhill cranes converge on the refuge marshes and a visit at dawn or dusk will provide the rare treat of large flocks of birds flying in or out of the refuge.

The majority of the refuge is designated a wildlife sanctuary and closed to all public access from March 1 to August 31 to allow wildlife to breed and raise their young free from human disturbance. During this time the areas available for public use are the seasonal Prairie's Edge Wildlife Drive, the Mahnomen, Blue Hill, and Oak Savanna Learning Center hiking trails, the St. Francis River canoe route, and fishing access points. Recreational opportunities include wildlife viewing, photography, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, canoeing, fishing, and hunting.


Refuge Headquarters: Monday through Thursday, 8 am - 4 pm.
Refuge Lands: Sept 1 to Feb 28, sunrise to sunset.
Hiking Trails: Daily, year-round, sunrise to sunset.
Prairies Edge Wildlife Drive: Open to vehicle access spring through fall, sunrise to sunset.
Oak Savanna Learning Center: Open for refuge events, education and appointments only.
Eagle's Nest Nature Store: Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 am to 2 pm at the Oak Savanna Learning Center.


Free admission

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