Erie National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1959, is one of over 500 national wildlife refuges in the United States. Erie Refuge is a namesake of the Erie Indians, a Native American tribe that resided in the area. The Refuge is not on the shores of Lake Erie, but lies in Crawford County, 35 miles south of the city of Erie and Lake Erie in northwestern Pennsylvania.
The refuge consists of two separate land divisions:
Sugar Lake Division, the more intensely managed portion, lies 10 miles east of Meadville on the outskirts of Guys Mills village. It contains 5,206 acres lying in a narrow valley which includes Woodcock Creek draining to the north and Lake Creek draining to the south. Beaver ponds, pools, and marshland along the creeks are bounded by forested slopes interspersed with croplands, grasslands, and wet meadows.
The Seneca Division is about 10 miles north of Sugar Lake Division or four miles southeast of Cambridge Springs. It consists of 3,594 acres situated in a forested valley where Muddy Creek and Dead Creek provide most of the wetland habitat.
The refuge's Headquarters & Visitors Center is generally open weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Parking is available at the headquaters as well as at designated sites near trails and observaion decks.