Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge
Visitor Center is currently closed for the season
Tamarac Refuge can be found just 18 miles northeast of Detroit Lakes, MN or 25 miles west of Park Rapids, MN. From State Hwy 34 travel north on Hwy 29 about 9 miles to reach the visitor center.
Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge hosts more than 258 species of birds and is a premier production site for trumpeter swans. It features nesting bald eagles, golden-winged warblers, otters, porcupine, wolves and more. A five-mile wildlife drive will take you on a journey along the edges of forests, marshes and meadows. Scenic overlooks with spotting scopes are available to enhance your views. Wildlife watching is exceptional year round. Whether you hike the trails, launch a boat or cross-county ski your way through the Refuge, you’ll feel the wildness of the North Woods.
Tamarac has been a prized hunting area for centuries and still offers abundant opportunities. The Refuge supports waterfowl, deer, ruffed grouse, squirrel, rabbit and other game species. Refuge hunting seasons follow state and tribal regulations.
Five lakes are open to summer fishing: Tamarac Lake, Blackbird Lake, Lost Lake, Wauboose Lake and Two Island Lake. The four lakes that are open for ice fishing include Tamarac Lake, Wauboose Lake, Two Island Lake and Pine Lake. There is bank fishing on the Ottertail River at the bridges on County Hwy 26 and 126.
Tamarac offers several miles of hiking trails. On the Old Indian Hiking Trail you’ll follow in the footsteps of the Ojibwe people and experience the beauty of the maple basswood forest. This 2.4 mile loop trail is accessed from County Hwy 29. The Bear Paw trail begins near the visitor center and takes you to two historic cabins. Hike a portion of the 4600 mile North Country National Scenic Trail as it traverses the refuge through a variety of habitats.