Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), located 30 miles northwest of Minot, North Dakota, was established in 1935 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. The Refuge straddles 35 miles of the picturesque Souris River valley in northern North Dakota. The Souris River basin figures prominently in the cultural and natural history of the North American mid-continent plains and prairies.
The 32,092-acre Refuge includes a narrow band of river bottom woodlands, fertile floodplains, native mixed-grass hills, and steep, shrub-covered coulees. The focal point of the Refuge is the 9,600-acre Lake Darling, which was constructed in 1936 to provide water to downstream marshes on J. Clark Salyer and Upper Souris NWRs.
The American Bird Conservancy has designated the Refuge as a Globally Important Bird Area. Lake Darling is also designated as critical habitat for the endangered piping plover.
Bird watchers come from across the nation to search for small grassland nesting bird species including Baird's, LeConte's, and Nelson's sharp-tailed sparrows, as well as the Sprague's pipit.
The Refuge office and visitor center is located southeast of Lake Darling Dam. Drive northwest of Minot on State Highway 52 to 1 mile north of Foxholm. Turn right and follow County Road 11 north 7 miles. Follow Refuge directional signs to the Refuge. An alternate route is to drive 18 miles north of Minot on State Highway 83, turn west and drive 12 miles on County Road 6.
17701 212th Ave NW Berthold, ND 58718
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FWS - Fish and Wildlife Service