Flint Hills Wildlife Refuge was established initially to provide a safe habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl. (Sometimes natures does need a bit of extra help!) It is now over 18,000 acres that provides a safe haven for a wide range of species, including mammals and amphibians.
It also provides some fun activities for the family! If you love to just sit on the banks of a flowing river with your fishing rod and catch up on all the family news, there is a wide variety of fishing opportunities there. About 7 million anglers visit each year, so it must be good!
If you just love getting out into the outdoors, breathing in that super fresh air and trying to see who can spot the most wildlife, then you have certainly picked one of the more popular activities that kids do at the refuge. You can drive, or enjoy an auto tour loop, or enjoy walking around the many trails. There are three nature trails, with Dove Roost Trail (sweet name!) having an observation tower.
They offer self-guided walks and staff led programs to learn about the wildlife and the habitats, using a variety of signs, brochures and exhibits, as well as a a host of programs for educational purposes. They have unique and exciting outdoor activities for youth groups as well as adult groups, where you can learn about a specific topic that you like!
If you are big of a keen eye, you can also be one of the 12 million people who visit each year to brush up on their photography skills! (Some people just use their phone, so anyone can give it a go!)
So enjoy nature!
Camping, fires, removing deer antler shed, fireworks and littering are prohibited - so help keep the refuge clean!
The visitor center is located just at the refuge HQ building, on the west side of Hartford. If you are coming on the I-35, take exit 141 and drive 8 miles south on Hey K-130. Turn right on West Maple Ave and you are nearly there!
There are a number of educational programs that can be personalized to what your students need.
Some of the trails are handicap accessible, but always best to call ahead just to check.
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Visitor Center hours 8am - 4:30pm Monday to Friday
All year round
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Flint Hills Wildlife Refuge