General Trip Planning Information
The designated public use area is open year round from 5:00 am -10:00 pm. The lands designated as sanctuary area are accessible September through February. This includes the 2000 acre wilderness tract in the northern part of the refuge. While preparing to explore the refuge and its wilderness areas, visitor should be mindful of these important tips: • Bring insect spray as there are biting ticks, flies and mosquitoes. Lyme disease is prevalent in this part of the state. Wear a hat and sunscreen as well. • While hiking, skiing or snowshoeing bring your own water and drink plenty of it. One can easily become dehydrated in any season. • Because of refuge’s size and landscape one can become easily disoriented and lost. Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Cell phone reception may be poor in some locations. • Pets are welcome, however must be leashed or under control. Trapping does occur on portions of the refuge for wildlife management purposes during the winter months and pets, especially dogs, could unintentionally be caught. • Don’t forget your binoculars, field guides and camera.
Visitors to Tamarac can experience and enjoy the refuge in many ways:
Hunting and Fishing: Tamarac has been a prized hunting area for centuries and continues to offer great opportunities. The refuge supports waterfowl, deer, ruffed grouse, squirrel and other game species. Summer fishing occurs on five lakes open to fishing. If you like solitude, four lakes are open to winter ice fishing. Species include northern pike, walleye, largemouth bass, bluegill, and perch. Fishing and hunting seasons follow the state and tribal seasons and regulations. Hunting and fishing brochures are available at entrance kiosks and the visitor center. Visit http://www.fws.gov/refuge/tamarac for current maps and refuge information.
Wildlife Observation and photography: Tamarac’s pristine and diverse landscape offers a chance to observe and photograph wildlife in natural habitats. Enhanced opportunities include observation platforms, guided photo safaris and workshops.
Interpretation and Environmental Education: Throughout the year, the refuge offers a variety of family friendly programs and activities including wildflower walks, beginning birding tours, Wildlife Excursions, Wild Wednesdays for pre-school age children, kayak cruises, snowshoe walks, ski treks and inspiring nature films on the big screen in the visitor center. The Blackbird Wildlife Drive offers a six mile self-guided journey exploring the edges of lakes, marshes and meadows. Environmental education programs are also offered to local schools in the fall, winter and spring.
Exploring the refuge by foot: Tamarac is now home to 14 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail. Experience the diversity of habitat including bogs, pine forests, mixed deciduous forests, wetlands and more. The Old Indian Hiking Trail is a short 2 ¼ mile loop trail that follows in the steps of the Ojibwe people. Enjoy the quiet of winter? There are ten miles of ski trails to experience which are occasionally groomed by a refuge volunteer.
Stop by the visitor center to see the 11 minute film, Tamarac, Its Life and Legends. Explore our hands-on exhibit area and enter your bird sightings on E-Bird. While there, you may shop for that special souvenir at the Friends of Tamarac Gift Shop.
Climate and Special Equipment Needs
When planning a trip to the Refuge, it is important to dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes for walking. Bring water, snacks, binoculars, field guides, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and a camera.
Pets are welcome, however must be leashed or kept under control at all times. Trapping does occur on portions of the refuge for wildlife management purposes through the winter months and pets, especially dogs, could unintentionally be caught.