Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge Trails:
Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge
Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge Overview
Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge lies in the glacial lake country of northwestern Minnesota in Becker County, 18 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes. Refuge topography consists of rolling forested hills interspersed with lakes, rivers, marshes, and shrub swamps. Twenty-one lakes lie within the refuge. For information about the Tamarac Wetland Management District, Click Here.
Vegetation is diverse due to the refuge's location in the transition zone between northern hardwood and coniferous forests. Sixty percent of the refuge is forested.
Refuge wildlife is as varied as the habitat with over 245 species of birds and 50 species of mammals. Bald eagles are common, and moose and timber wolves (resident pack) are seen occasionally.
Historically, the refuge was a prized hunting, fishing, ricing, and maple sugaring area for Indian tribes. The northern half of Tamarac lies within the original White Earth Chippewa Indian Reservation Boundary. Tribal members retain wild rice harvest and trapping privileges on the Refuge.
Accessibility: The National Wildlife Refuge System is working to ensure that facilities and programs are accessible to visitors. Please contact the refuge office for information about accessibility at this unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
The refuge operates a visitor center complete with a retail sales outlet, auditorium and exhibit area. Wildlife viewing opportunities are superb, particularly along the Blackbird Auto Tour Route. The Old Indian Hiking Trail provides visitors an excellent opportunity to experience refuge woodlands and wetlands. Several lakes provide outstanding fish and hunting opportunities. A cross-country ski trail is available for winter visitors. Other facilities available to the public include a picnic area, historic monuments, boat landings and scenic overlooks.
Tamarac NWR is in a "near pristine" state and management activities are primarily directed at maintaining a diverse forest through timber harvesting, particularly aspen. Some water management is possible and is aimed at maximizing wild rice production. Only limited prescribed burning is done to maintain existing grasslands for waterfowl nesting. Resident wildlife and migratory bird surveys are done to monitor those populations. Waterfowl banding of mallard and wood ducks is done annually.
Refuge office/visitor center facility is located 18 miles NE of Detroit Lakes, MN, at the junction of County Roads 26 & 29. Leaving Detroit Lakes on Hwy 34 East, go 9 miles to intersection of County Road 29, turn left going north on 29, go approx. 9 miles (paved and gravel roads). Leaving Detroit Lakes on County Road 31, go north approx. 9 miles to intersection of County Road 26, turn right going east on 26 approx. 9 miles (paved/gravel road).