We had trouble finding the entrance to the refuge and when we did find it the gate was closed and padlocked. There is no visitor center we learned, though one is planned. There are few signs. The office is in a building with other government offices which was inside the locked gate.
We were there on a weekend and there was a festival, called a waterfowl festival, at a state wildlife management area nearby. There, in a booth in a tent, we found representatives of the refuge who answered questions and had pamphlets to hand out. One of those representatives, the Refuge Visitor Services Manager, told me they hope to get their own offices and visitor center within five years. In a pamphlet she gave me she showed me a picture of the proposed visitor center, a two-story structure with the exterior constructed largely of glass to permit wildlife viewing.
Most National Wildlife Refuges have a stamp with which someone at the refuge will stamp the name of the refuge visited in a book called a “Blue Goose Passport.” Those stamps are all the same size but each is distinctive and has the name of the refuge it represents. The Detroit River Refuge doesn’t have such a stamp but one has been designed and is ordered. When they get it, the Visitor Services Manager told me, she would stamp a piece of paper and send it to me so I can add the stamp of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge to my “Blue Goose Passport.” She also invited me to visit the refuge again when the visitor center is constructed, when I can see the flocks of birds that also visit the refuge.