Description - The refuge is located in the French Creek drainage basin which retains a unique biological diversity. Many of the aquatic species are endangered in PA and the U.S.
- Erie NWR is located in the French Creek drainage basin, a focus area of the Ohio River Valley Ecosystem Team. French Creek retains a biological diversity that is unique and biologically significant. Many of the aquatic species are endangered in PA and the U.S. Fifty-six percent of Pennsylvania's surviving mussel species inhabit the French Creek watershed, including the Clubshell mussel, a federally endangered species found on the Seneca Division of Erie.
Erie NWR's major management objective is to provide waterfowl with nesting, feeding, brooding and resting habitat. Overall, 251 bird species have been observed on the refuge, including the threatened bald eagle. Workshops and educational activities are offered. Recreation includes wildlife watching, photography, hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
Special Notes: Visitor center and fishing facilities are wheelchair accessible. Hunters possessing state disabled hunting licenses may qualify for special accommodations.
Recreation - Visitors can view displays, obtain information brochures and talk with personnel at the refuge headquarters / visitor center building Monday through Friday, 8:00 am. till 4:30 pm. Facilities are open daily, • hour before sunrise to sunset, unless otherwise posted.
Organized school, civic and professional groups may reserve dates for slide talks, movies, management tours and outdoor classrooms. Teacher workshops are offered. Write or call for additional information.
Several trails offer opportunities for exercise and education:
Beaver Run Trail is a 2.5 mile path (a loop and a spur) that winds through natural surroundings where visitors can observe a variety of plant and animal life. The trail is located on Hanks Road.
Tsuga Nature Trail is a two-loop trail that follows a 1.2 or 1.6 mile route through a variety of habitats. A boardwalk traverses a beaver pond. During winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted. The trail is located near the headquarters / visitor center.
Deer Run Trail is a 3 mile nature trail open all seasons including during the winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The trail is located on Boland Road.
Muddy Creek Holly Trail offers views of Winterberry holly, also called black alder, with bright red berries. The 1 mile trail is located on Johnstown Road, Seneca Division.
An observation blind is an ideal spot to observe and photograph wildlife. Dawn and dusk are the best times to see wildlife. A short path leads to the blind which overlooks Reitz's Pond. The blind is located on Boland / Ritchie Road.
Deer Run Overlook provides a great viewing opportunity for those who can sit quietly. You may wish to bring your binoculars for a closer look at the American bald eagle which can be seen flying overhead. The overlook is located on Allen Road.
Hunting and fishing opportunities are available on the refuge. The regulations are available from staff at visitors center and in boxes located throughout the refuge. A universally accessible fishing pier is located at Pool K.
Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The Erie National Wildlife Refuge area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging around 24 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -2 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 Celsius).
Erie National Wildlife Refuge is located approximately 10 miles east of Meadville north of SR 27. Travel east on SR 27, turn left onto Shaffer Road to Guys Mill. (Headquarters is located off Route 198E on Wood Duck Lane, ž mile east of Guys Mills and 10 miles east of Meadville.)