Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge


Congress established Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in 1935 as a refuge and breeding grounds for migratory birds and other wildlife. The Refuge has 21,498 acres of prime wildlife habitat consisting of open lakes and wetlands, grasslands, woodlands, and croplands. Famed for its spectacular concentrations of wildlife, Sand Lake NWR has been listed as one of the top 15 birding sites in the country. It is also a designated a Wetland of International Importance and a Globally Important Bird Area.

Sand Lake NWR is for people too. Each year more than 75,000 visitors come to the Refuge to appreciate its wildlife and reconnect with nature. Wildlife observation, education, photography, hunting, and fishing are all popular activities on the Refuge.


Sand Lake NWR is located in the northeast corner of South Dakota, 27 miles northeast of Aberdeen, South Dakota. To get to Sand Lake from Aberdeen, take State Highway 12 east 6 miles to Brown County Highway 16 at Bath Corner. Turn north onto Brown County 16 and follow brown directional signs. The Refuge Headquarters and visitor center is located on Brown County Highway 16 approximately 9 miles north of Columbia, South Dakota.





39650 Sand Lake Drive Columbia, SD 57433


Auto Touring Historic & Cultural Site Interpretive Programs Fishing Hiking Hunting Visitor Center Wildlife Viewing


FWS - Fish and Wildlife Service

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