Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge

Montana

(406) 654-2863

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), located 7 miles east of Malta, Montana, was established in 1936 to provide habitat for migrating, nesting, and feeding birds. More than 260 species of birds, 26 species of mammals, and a variety of reptiles, amphibians, and fish can be seen at the Refuge. Named after a small railroad siding town, the Refuge includes approximately 6,600 acres of saline (alkali) and freshwater wetlands and 9,000 acres of uplands (much of this native prairie). Lake Bowdoin was once an oxbow of the pre-glacial Missouri River. Today, the river lies approximately 70 miles to the south. The islands of Lake Bowdoin support one of the largest inland nesting colonies of American white pelicans and one of the rare ground rookeries of great blue herons and double-crested cormorants. White-tailed deer and pronghorns abound on the uplands, surrounded by a wide variety of prairie songbirds and other small animals. Many of these wildlife species can be easily seen from the 15-mile auto tour loop. Bowdoin NWR has been deemed an "Internationally Important Bird Area" and a "Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network" site.

Map of Bowdoin NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 48.411542, -107.656746

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Activities

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The refuge offers a 15 mile self-guided auto tour route and a 0.4-mile accessible foot trail located at the Display Pond near Refuge headquarters. The trail features a photo blind, an overlook, and tables for conducting environmental education activities. Motor vehicles are restricted to the auto tour route and designated parking areas.

  • Hiking

    Foot travel is allowed on all portions of the refuge except around the shop and residential areas, the railroad right-of-way and where otherwise posted.

  • Historic Sites

    The refuge offers a 15 mile self-guided auto tour route and a 0.4-mile accessible foot trail located at the Display Pond near Refuge headquarters. The trail features a photo blind, an overlook, and tables for conducting environmental education activities. Motor vehicles are restricted to the auto tour route and designated parking areas.

  • Hunting

    Waterfowl and upland game bird hunting is permitted during the fall in designated hunting areas. The Refuge complies with state hunting regulations, and enforces several refuge-specific hunting regulations.

Directions

Driving

Bowdoin NWR is located about 7 miles east of Malta, Montana. From U.S. Highway 2 on the east edge of Malta, turn southeast onto old County Highway 2 at the brown and white Refuge sign. Follow the paved road to the two stone pillars marking the entrance road to the Refuge headquarters. Traveling from the east on U.S. Highway 2, turn south (left) at the brown and white Refuge sign located approximately 14 miles west of the Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs Resort turn-off. Follow the gravel road to the 4-way intersection and turn left again onto the paved road (Old County Highway 2). This will take you to the Refuge entrance.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(406) 654-2863

Links