Agassiz Auto Tour Route and Trails Opening Season
Agassiz Refuge Lost Bay Habitat Drive Opens for the Season
Load your family in the car and head to Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge to experience the sights and sounds of spring that nature has to offer. Observe up to 17 species of ducks that breed on the Refuge, take a close look at a bald eagle nest from the Parker Pool observation deck, or listen for the "winnowing" of Wilson’s snipe as they descend from the sky in courtship display. Visitors can also expect to hear the excited calls of the Franklin’s gulls from their large nesting colony in Agassiz Pool or as small groups sail overhead on foraging flights, as well as the familiar honks of Canada geese, and various melodies coming from upland habitats as migrating songbirds arrive at the Refuge. While a smorgasbord of birds is a given, lucky Refuge visitors get a glimpse of moose, bear, or wolves. There is never a dull moment in nature.
You can experience all this activity not only as you drive towards Refuge headquarters along County Highway 7, but also along the Refuge's 4-mile long Lost Bay Habitat Drive which is now open starting May 1, 2020. The Habitat Drive offers opportunities for visitors to view a variety of wetland bird species, and the interpretive signage along the route provides detailed information about wildlife habitat, plant & animal species, management activities and much more. If you want to take in more of the fresh spring air, take a jaunt down one of the three hiking trails also available on the Refuge. Maakstad Hiking Trail is located along the auto drive, Headquarters Hiking Trail-located at the refuge headquarters, and Rodahl Trail-located by Farmes Pool. Whether in your car or on foot, you won’t be disappointed in the splendors of spring at Agassiz NWR.
The Refuge Headquarters is located on Marshall County Road 7 (290th Street NE), 12 miles north of Thief River Falls on Highway 32 and 11 miles east of Holt. A sign along Minnesota Highway 1, three miles east of Thief River Falls, also guides visitors to the Refuge. Additional refuge information can be found at the kiosks located at both the west and east entrances to the refuge, and at the headquarters parking area.
While we’re encouraging you to visit Agassiz, please keep in mind that due to the COVID-19 pandemic our Office/Visitor Center is closed, and the outdoor restrooms are also closed at this time. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is following federal, state and local public safety guidance, and making every effort to provide continued access to recreational opportunities on public lands. The health and safety of our visitors is our number one priority! We are all in this together!