Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

Black Point Wildlife Drive

Fee Area $5.00 per vehicle

The best place to see wildlife is along the Black Point Wildlife Drive. The 7-mile, one-way drive follows a dike road around several shallow marsh impoundments and through pine flatwoods.  This provides an excellent place to see waterfowl (in season), wading birds, shorebirds and raptors. Alligators, river otters, bobcats, various species of snakes, and other wildlife may be visible as well. A self-guiding brochure (available near the drive entrance) will provide information on things to look for. One to two hours after sunrise and one to two hours before sunset are typically the best times to view wildlife actively feeding in the impoundments.  Driving time is approximately 40 minutes.
Sign that reads "Black Point Wildlife Drive"
Restrooms are provided at the Cruckshank Trail stop.

Tips for Wildlife Viewing

  • Use Your Vehicle for Cover – Birds have become accustomed to traffic and a vehicle serves as excellent cover and is one of the best ways to observe and photograph wildlife without disturbance. If you get out of your vehicle, use it for cover or try to keep some vegetation between you and surrounding wildlife.
  • Do not approach - Birds will maintain a safe distance from people. If you try to approach, birds will simply move further away or leave the area.  Use binoculars, spotting scopes or telephoto lenses to observe and photograph birds from a distance.
  • Move slowly & quietly - Birds react to fast movement and loud noises.  Drive slowly, try to make slow movements, speak softly, turn off music, and prevent slamming doors or making other loud noises.
  • Identify alarm signals – Birds are utilizing the Refuge to feed and rest. When disturbed they will become alert (heads up, nervous movement, look at you, and move away). If there is too much disturbance birds will leave the area. 
  • Practice tips such as: staying concealed, maintaining a safe distance, moving slow, and being quiet, and more birds will stay within range for better viewing.      

Your Actions Can Minimize Wildlife Disturbance and
Improve Wildlife Viewing for Yourself and Others


Marsh Boardwalk Overlook
Marsh Overlook - USFWS Photo


Gravel road through refuge with a white sign on the left with a blue bird and number 5 on it.
Drive Stop - USFWS Photo

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