Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region
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General Information


Video Overview of Lake Woodruff NWR


Established in 1964, Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of 21,574 acres in central Florida along the St. Johns River (Florida's longest river) near DeLeon Springs. The Refuge has:

- 11,100 acres of freshwater marsh

- 7,200 acres of hardwood swamps

- 2,400 acres of uplands

- More than 1,000 acres of lakes, streams, and canals

The Refuge's geographical location straddles an overlapping zone between the subtropical and temperate climates. This overlap allows for a high diversity of species to be found on the Refuge. Additionally, it is uniquely positioned to support a wide variety of resident and migratory species.


river view

Annual Visitation: Approximately 50,000

Mailing/Physical Address: 2045 Mud Lake Road, DeLeon Springs, FL 32130

Office Phone: 386-985-4673


Hours of Operation

The refuge is open year-round during daylight hours or from sunrise to sunset. It may be open on a limited basis outside these hours for special events sponsored by the refuge.

From November to March, the Visitor Center is open from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM every day of the week.

From April through October, the Visitor Center is typically open from 8 AM until 4:00 PM during the week. It is closed on weekends. Maps, brochures and other informational materials can be found in the kiosk located near the entrance to the parking lot.

During the year, the Visitor Center may be closed sporadically for part of the day or all day due to the small number of staff and volunteers available. Call 386-985-4673 to check if the Visitor Center will be open during your visit.



The headquarters office is located in DeLeon Springs, Florida, which is 25 miles west of Daytona Beach and 7 miles north of Deland. The Refuge encircles the State-owned waters of Lake Woodruff and the St. Johns River forms much of the western boundary. The majority of the Refuge lies within Volusia County with only a small portion in Lake County. The Refuge lies within a mosaic of public lands in north-central Florida. The Refuge is bordered to the west by the 400,000 acre Ocala National Forest and to the north by the Lake George State Forest.


The annual maximum temperature for this area is 80 F and annual minimum temperature is 61 F. The average annual precipitation is 48 inches.

Fees and Costs

Visiting the Refuge and Visitor Center is free. If you are participating in the hunts at the Refuge, you will be required to pay all hunting fees. (Go to Hunt tab for more hunting information.)


Activities at the Refuge

A variety of outdoor activities take place on the Refuge including nature photography birding, hiking, fishing and boating. Fifteen miles of trails are available for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. (Not all trails are open for horseback riding due to the type of trail and location.aerial view

Boating is a favorite activity of the many people who visit the Refuge. Boating activities including kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and air boating. No boat ramps or launches are located on the Refuge. Boat ramps located nearby are Tedders Boat Ramp, DeLeon Springs State Park or the Highland Park Fish Camp. Tedders is located on the DeLeon Springs Run north of the Refuge and south of the DeLeon Springs State Park. Kayak and canoe rentals are available at DeLeon Springs State Park. Highland Park Fish Camp is located on the Norris Dead River on Highland Park Road.

Many Audubon groups hold bird walks on the Refuge throughout the year and a portion of the annual Audubon Christmas bird count takes place on the refuge.

Many people come to the Refuge to look at or photograph nature. Because of the diversity of wildlife and beautiful natural landscapes found on the Refuge it is a perfect place for these activities. Photography is often combined with many recreational activities at the Refuge.

Limited hunting is allowed on the Refuge on a permit basis in designated areas. Hunting is restricted to archery and primitive guns. Only deer and hog are legal to be taken and hunting is used as a method to manage these species to prevent habitat destruction.

All hunters 16 years of age or older must purchase a Lake Woodruff Deer/Hog permit. These permits are issued through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FL FWC). To apply go to, click on "hunting", and then click "limited entry hunts".

Public Use Area Map

New Bird List!

Refuge Ramble

2015 Refuge Hunting

Hints for Enjoying Your Visit to the Refuge


  • Bring your binoculars or telephoto lens for your camera. Loaner binoculars can be obtained at the Refuge's Visitor Center.
  • Plan to start early or stay late. Mammals and birds are most active during the early morning and late afternoon, especially during the warmer months.
  • Bring you field guides to help you identify what you are seeing.
  • Observe carefully; look up, down and out for wildlife. Wildlife might be found in trees, in the sky, in the water, as well as nearby vegetation.
  • Consider bringing bug repellant and drinking water on your visit to the Refuge so you will be more comfortable.
  • Respect fellow visitors and wildlife.
  • Move quietly to see more wildlife.
  • Keep your distance from all wildlife. They will let you know when you are getting too close by moving away, acting agitated, fluffing their feathers or wings to look more intimidating and other behaviors to tell you to move away. Many of the birds found at the Refuge are migratory species and need to rest and restore their energy reserves. Respect their need for space.


The Refuge is a "pack in, pack out" refuge or as the saying goes, "leave only footprints and take only great pictures and memories". All trash should be taken with you when you leave. Do not remove any plants, natural items or cultural artifacts from the Refuge. The only time you can remove anything from the Refuge, except trash, is when fishing and hunting, as permitted by fishing and hunting regulations.



Last updated: May 15, 2015