Location: Kellys Slough

Managed by: Devils Lake Wetland District

Management Address

221 2nd St NW, Suite 2
Devils Lake ND 58301

Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Devils Lake Wetland Management District which administers Fish and Wildlife Service lands in an eight-county area in northeast North Dakota. Kellys Slough NWR was established in 1936 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. The 1270 acre refuge serves as an important migration corridor for waterfowl and shorebirds. In 2003, the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network designated the refuge as a Regional Shorebird Reserve. Birders have identified 22 species of shorebirds here in the month of July


The Refuge is located in close proximity to both Grand Forks and Grand Forks Air Force Base and offers visitors the ability to observe shore birds as well as ducks and geese.  The area is used as nesting grounds for various species of puddle ducks.  The Refuge is closed to hunting but is open for visitors who would like to observe nature as long as they stay within designated viewing areas or on trails.  The trails look as though they are gated access roads with pedestrian trails looping around the gates.  The trails are for the most part firm and made up of gravel.  A viewing platform has been constructed on site but is not accessible for a person using a mobility devise.  On ground level there is a bench located on site that overlooks the Slough.  The roadway/trail to the east across road from parking area will take hikers to an area that is between two slough bays approximately 200 yards in distance.  It is guessed that this area was an access point for a gate to control water levels between the two bodies of water.  No seating was seen along the trail or at the confluence of the two bays.  The roadway to the west looked longer (an estimated 375 yds) and brings hikers long a route that overlooks a small wooded area as well as prairie areas along the western slough. 

This site offers a rest station that is designated accessible but is sitting on top of the ground some four inches making it impossible for most persons using mobility devises to access.  The parking area is gravel but like the trails is firm and stable.  It was visited in spring during wet conditions and was fine, though one area looked a little soft and so was not walked across.  Except for the bench no other seating is available.  The main kiosk area is in relatively close proximity to the parking area as well as the comfort station (please see comfort station limitations above).   Suntan lotion and insect repellent would probably be important while visiting this site.  No drinking water was observed at the site so visitors are recommended to bring their own. 

A description of the birds found within this area can be found at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Kellys_Slough/wildlife_and_habitat/index.html.  

Location Info » For directions, click the marker in the map. »

Travel eight miles west on Hwy 2 from Grand Forks International Airport and turn north on 20th St NE traveling approximately seven miles, parking area is located on left (west) side of road.


No amenities are found on site, but may be found within the City of Grand Forks, ND. The city includes all the major big box stores as well as many local, regional, and independent stores. This is the same for eateries.


No camping is permitted on site but can be found within Greater Grand Forks as well as west on Hwy 2 at Larimore Dam and Turtle River State Park, see Larimore Dam's description located within site. Within close proximity to Grand Forks camping can be found south on I-29, KOA and immediately across the border in Minnesota following Hwy 2 in East Grand Forks, East Grand Forks Recreational Area. The bathhouse facilities located at the campground in East Grand Forks are accessible. Various types of lodging can be found including beds and breakfasts, motels, and hotels within the Grand Cities. Visitors are directed to inquire about the accessibility prior to making reservations.