Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge

North Dakota

(701) 752-4218

Map Directions

Things To Do



Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is one of the nation's oldest Refuges, established in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt as a reserve and breeding ground for native birds. Located in the famous Prairie Pothole Region of the United States, the Refuge and surrounding area provides breeding and resting habitat for more than 293 bird species. The Refuge is home to North America's largest nesting colony of American white pelicans, with 33,000 birds counted in 2002. Chase Lake NWR has been designated as one of America's Top 100 Globally Important Bird Areas (IBA) by the American Bird Conservancy. The 4,385-acre Refuge includes Chase Lake, native prairie, tame grasslands, and wetlands. The majority of this land is still intact and has not been altered since settlement times. Thus, Chase Lake NWR has been designated as a Wilderness Area since 1975 and is one of two wilderness refuges in North Dakota. The Refuge is just one unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System within the Chase Lake Wetland Management District (WMD). The Chase Lake WMD also manages 133 Waterfowl Production Areas covering nearly 39,000 acres of prairie wetlands and grasslands managed for waterfowl production in Stutsman and Wells Counties. The Office headquarters for the Refuge and the District is located 3 miles east of Woodworth, North Dakota.

Map of Chase Lake NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 47.033631, -99.437943



  • Bird Watching

    The American Bird Conservancy classifies Chase Lake as one of America's 500 Most Important Bird Areas. Chase Lake NWR is one of the largest breeding areas of American white pelicans in North America. A record 35,466 breeding white pelicans were recorded in 2000. A complete list of birds at the refuge can be found at

  • Hunting

    Chase Lake NWR provides valuable staging and resting areas for migratory birds each fall. To minimize disturbance to migratory birds Chase Lake NWR is only open to deer hunting after migratory birds have migrated south for the winter.



Chase Lake NWR is located 10 miles north and 7 miles west of Medina, North Dakota. From Jamestown, travel west on I-94 to the Medina exit. Turn north and go 11 miles on County Highway 68. Turn west on the gravel road and drive 7 miles. Turn south and go 1 mile. The last 5 miles are "prairie trail" road. This is a minimum maintenance road that can be difficult to travel during wet conditions. However, this very scenic drive provides visitors a glimpse of how this country appeared during pre-settlement times.

Phone Numbers


(701) 752-4218