The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge—established in 1963 and re-named for the late U.S. Senator and Stevensville native Lee Metcalf in 1978—is a 2,800-acre riparian habitat along the eastern bank of the Bitterroot River between Stevensville and Florence.
Migratory birds are the refuge's primary inhabitants, with 238 species documented. Archery hunting for deer, waterfowl hunting, and catch-and-release fishing are permitted—contact the refuge for regulations. Refuge staff also provide a variety of seasonal educational programming for kids.
A 160-acre wildlife viewing area encompasses ponds, sloughs, and river-bottom woodlands. Two nature trails of less than a mile each, and a half-mile, wheelchair-accessible trail provides access from the parking lot to a picnic area. County road Wildfowl Lane traverses the refuge and provides scenic vistas and wildlife-viewing opportunities. The Lee Metcalf Wildlife Viewing Trail is a designated National Recreation Trail. Wildlife-viewing and fishing structures, restrooms, benches and an information kiosk round out the amenities.