The Refuge stretches along the Minnesota River from Fort Snelling State Park to Belle Plaine, Minnesota. The Refuge also includes a Wetland Management District designated as Waterfowl Production Areas.
The Minnesota Valley Trust works only with landowners who are willing to sell or donate their land to be managed in perpetuity as part of the Refuge. Priority expansion areas are located in the valley of the Minnesota River, between Chaska and St. Peter, Minnesota. The Trust also acquires land outside the river valley, but within the Minnesota River Watershed, as Waterfowl Production Areas.