Wildlife Viewing Areas
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Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge
The Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex is comprised of Lake Andes NWR, Karl E. Mundt NWR, and Lake Andes Wetland Management District (WMD). The Complex headquarters is located on the east shore of Lake Andes. Wildlife habitat on the Complex is extremely important to conservation ...
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Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Description: 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.

Wildlife to Watch: Sand Lake NWR hosts more than 266 bird species, 40 mammal species and a variety of fish, reptiles, and amphibians. It also is home to the largest nesting colony of Franklin's gulls in the world!

Spring and fall concentrations of migratory birds number in the millions and viewing opportunities can be spectacular! The Wildlife Drive, a 15-mile seasonal auto tour route, travels through the heart of the Refuge and gets you up-close and personal with the wildlife. Waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, songbirds, and just about anything in between can be seen at Sand Lake NWR.

Wildlife photographers from all over the country migrate to Sand Lake NWR to photograph its landscapes and intense concentrations of wildlife. Deep blue water, auburn skies, and an endless landscape make the Refuge a paradise for those who capture it by lens. Although the Refuge has no permanent blinds, you may set up temporary daily blinds.

Special Tips: A visitor center offers wildlife displays, exhibits, and general information. The Refuge also has two observation towers, a hiking trail, and two recreation areas.

Ownership: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 
Size: 21,498 acres 
Closest Town: Columbia

RestroomsParkingTent CampingFishingHikingVisitor CenterHuntingSmall BoatsDrinking WaterAuto Tour

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Sand Lake NWR - photo by USFWS
Use link below please

Driving Directions:
The Refuge Headquarters and visitor center is located on Brown County Highway 16 approximately 9 miles north of Columbia, South Dakota.

Map Link

Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge : Wildlife Viewing Area