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DESTINATION UNKNOWN: Visit a national wildlife refuge during National Wildlife Refuge Week

Sullys Hill National Game Preserve south of Devils Lake is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System and offers a variety of interpretive opportunities. (Brad Dokken photo)

National Wildlife Refuge Week begins Saturday and continues through Oct. 15. Celebrated each year during the second full week of October, the event offers the perfect opportunity to visit a national wildlife refuge to hike, fish, paddle or just enjoy the outdoors.

Northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota have an abundance of national wildlife refuges within a couple hours' drive of Grand Forks. Included on that list are Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge northwest of Grand Forks, Sullys Hill National Game Preserve south of Devils Lake, Rydell and Glacial Ridge national wildlife refuges in Polk County and Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Thief River Falls.

A couple of items of interest:

At Sullys Hill, the Friends of Sullys Hill group is hosting a showing of the movie, "Winged Migration," at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Visitor Center. That's followed at 2:45 p.m. by a guided bird walk. The Visitor Center and the preserve's Auto Tour Route will close for the season Oct. 15.

At Glacial Ridge NWR, a new smartphone map is available to help hunters avoid unintentional trespass in areas they cannot hunt on the refuge and adjacent lands owned the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy and private landowners.

The map, available through the free Avenza PDF app, can be scanned into a smartphone with a QR code. Hunters then can use their phone as a GPS to know where they're at at all times.

To scan the code, go to the Rydell and Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page at

For more information on area national wildlife refuges, go to and follow the links.

-- Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken is a reporter and editor of the Herald's Sunday Northland Outdoors pages. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University. 

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