Boating at the Refuge

trail closure map 512x542

If you are looking for a serene, quiet and intimate way to view wildlife, it is hard to beat accessing the Refuge by boat. By putting in at Luhr Beach, located near the Northwest corner of the Refuge, it is possible to view wildlife in areas not accessible by any trails. McAllister Creek and the Reach have areas of deeper water that host organisms that can only be seen by watercraft.

It is important to be aware of use area boundaries: watercraft are limited to regions outside the Sanctuary area of the Refuge. On the map above, the sanctuary is everything within the solid red line (which matches the footprint of the old Brown Farm Dike). This means boaters must be west of the current Estuary Trail Boardwalk and may not pass underneath it. Boaters out in the Reach must stay north of the end of the Estuary Trail Boardwalk. Signs "on the ground" clearly indicate which areas are closed, and it is the responsibility of boaters to read these signs and be aware of boundaries.

A good rule of thumb is to remember that, when approaching visitor areas in the heart of the Refuge, if you are surrounded by islands with green vegetation (pickleweed), you are legal. If you find yourself in a large expanse of water with dead snags rather than islands or green vegetation near by, then you have probably strayed into the closed area. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated!