Rural Route 1, Box 25
Odessa, MN 56276
Established in 1975, the Big Stone National Refuge's 11,521 acres of wetlands and grasslands, is a major waterfowl and migration area. The refuge also serves as a wintering area for as many as 1,200 whitetail deer. Unique features include the lichen covered granite outcrops for which the refuge was named. The refuge also maintains a population of reintroduced river otters. With 30,000 visitors annually there are many opportunities for hiking, hunting & fishing, environmental education, wildlife observation, and an auto tour route.
During the summer we have a suite of rare to declining grassland nesting birds that people can see that include: Clay-colored Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, Bobolink, Sedge Wren, Common Yellowthroat, and Yellow Warbler. In the fall season (August-November), the summer ends with migrating shorebirds. Big Stone NWR boasts some of the highest concentrations of shorebirds (numbering in the 1000's) in the state of NMinnestoa and include: Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, and Semipalmated Plover. Later in the fall, Big Stone will host numbers of ducks and geese in the 10's of 1000's and include species of ducks like Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Green-Winged Teal, Ruddy Duck, Lesser Scaup, and the EasternPrairie population of Canada Geese.