Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge

North Dakota

(701) 662-8611

Map Directions

Things To Do



Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established to develop and manage a system of wetlands and grasslands that is unique to the Red River Valley. The Refuge supports a diversity of wetland and grassland wildlife, while providing for wildlife-dependent recreation, interpretation, and education and promoting an appreciation for wetland values. Kellys Slough NWR is located in the heart of the Red River Valley. The Refuge contains an intermittent stream that flows into the Turtle River, a tributary of the Red River. In addition to the original 1,270-acre Refuge, which was purchased in 1936, other lands were purchased over the years with Federal Duck Stamp dollars and developed into Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). The Refuge staff manage the eight wetland management pools, comprising 876 acres of the Refuge and adjacent WPAs. These pools are managed to provide a variety of water depths. The remaining uplands are predominately grasslands. Kellys Slough NWR is considered an excellent area to view migratory and breeding waterbirds. Twelve species of ducks have been found nesting on the Refuge. Giant Canada geese and a variety of shorebirds are also common at Kellys Slough NWR and surrounding lands. A 3-year study initiated in 2000 documented an average annual population of almost 36,000 shorebirds representing 29 species.

Map of Kellys Slough NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 47.995436, -97.631378



  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Interpretive panels are installed on two turnouts along the gravel road leading to the main parking area. These turnouts are great locations for viewing wildlife. The panels provide information on area wildlife and wildlife habitat.

  • Hiking

    Three short walking trails can be found on Kellys Slough NWR. These trails offer the opportunity to view wildlife and the landscape away from roads and vehicle traffic.

  • Hunting

    Waterfowl and white-tailed deer are the most popular species pursued in the area. Upland game birds, such as Hungarian partridge and sharp-tailed grouse, are also present. Trapping opportunities exist for red fox, raccoon, and muskrat.



Kellys Slough NWR covers portions of Blooming, Lakeville and Rye Townships of Grand Forks County. The main parking area is 8 miles west and 3 miles north of Grand Forks, North Dakota. Signs on U.S. Highway 2 direct visitors to the Refuge, where there is a parking area, an elevated viewing platform, several informational signs, and two walking trails.

Phone Numbers


(701) 662-8611