Summer Fun at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Refuge Notebook
Join Park Ranger Leah Eskelin and other Refuge staff for fun nature interpretive programs this summer at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Join us for a variety of fun nature interpretive programs at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge this summer. Programs include our popular Fun Days, a new Family Explorer Program, Hidden Lake Campground Ranger Talks, Fitness Hikes, and our Wildlife Film Series.


All of our activities are free of charge.

Keep the following summer schedule as a reminder to come and join us for summer fun.

Fun Days — These programs celebrate our beautiful Alaska wildflowers and tasty wild berries and take place at the Refuge Environmental Education Center in Soldotna. Enjoy educational displays, make theme inspired crafts, enter drawings for door prizes, sample delicious treats, and join in guided identification walks. Pre-registration is required for identification walks with Michelle Ostrowski at 260-2839.

Wildflower Fun Day: June 15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wild Berry Fun Day: August 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

New Family Explorer Program — Join us on the Keen Eye Nature Trail (by the Refuge Visitor Center) for an easy quarter-mile walk exploring the natural world from 1-2 p.m. These walks are open to all ages and no pre-registration is required. All explorers get a free explorer pin or magnet at their first program and if your family attends four explorer programs, you receive a prize courtesy of Alaska Geographic.    

For more information, contact Leah Eskelin or Candace Ward at 262-7021.

June 23 — Wild About Wildflowers
July 3 — Digital Photo Safari No. 1
July 10 — Using Your Senses
July 14 — Changing Landscapes No. 1
July 17 — Trees & Plants of the Kenai
July 24 — Changing Landscapes No. 2
July 31 — Bug Hunt in the Boreal Forest
August 11 — Digital Photo Safari No. 2

Ranger Talks at Hidden Lake Campground (one-hour drive from Soldotna) — Take a picnic dinner to Hidden Lake Campground and join us for monthly “Be Bear Aware” Ranger Talks at the Campground Amphitheatre on the following Saturday evenings, June 2 at 8 p.m., July 21 at 8 p.m., and August 18 at 8 p.m. For more information, contact Leah Eskelin or Candace Ward at 262-7021.

Fitness Walks — Join us for a 2-mile moderate hike on the Centennial Trail at the Refuge Visitor Center. Walks take place every Monday in July (2, 9, 16, 23 and 30) at noon.

They last 1 1/2 hours and are a great way to enjoy nature, get some exercise, and meet friendly people. To participate, please pre-register with Michelle Ostrowski at 260-2839.

Wildlife Film Series — Every day from June through August, wildlife films are shown at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. at the Refuge Visitor Center. At 1 p.m. enjoy “Alone in the Wilderness.” At 2 p.m. see “Bears of the Last Frontier” and learn about the latest on bear ecology. At 3 p.m. watch “Belugas” in June, “Wolverine – Chasing the Phantom” in July, and “White Falcon/White Wolf” in August.

You are always welcome to come out on your own, with your family or summer visitors to enjoy a walk on the Keen Eye Nature Trail or Centennial Trail or any of the Refuge trails in the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area. It’s a great way to have some summer fun and experience the natural world!

Candace Ward has worked as a Park Ranger at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge for 28 years. She leads the Refuge’s Information/Education Program and enjoys presenting nature interpretive programs especially guided wildflower and wild berry walks. You can find more information about the Refuge at or