Visitor Activities

Black swallowtail butterfly

Stop by our visitor center to learn about hiking, biking, wildlife observation, photography, hunting, fishing and other great recreational opportunities on the refuge.

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Great White Heron in flight

    Stop by the visitor center on your next visit to learn about recent wildlife sightings. The refuge's 145,188 acres provide habitat and protection for many species of wildlife. More than 250 species of birds, 60 species of reptiles and amphibians, 40 species of butterflies, and 20 types of mammals are found on the refuge.

    Visitors might catch a glimpse of endangered and threatened species such as the wood stork and snail kite while looking for migratory songbirds, secretive marsh birds, shorebirds, and waterfowl that visit throughout the year. Year-round residents include pileated woodpeckers, alligators, herons, egrets, and bobcats.

    Check out the eBird Trail Tracker for recent bird sightings on the refuge.

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  • Interpretive Programs and Special Events

    Volunteer-guided Night Hike

    The refuge is pleased to offer a variety interpretive programs and special events such as tram tours, guided walks, canoe tours, and other activities throughout the year. To find out more information about these activities, view our calendar of events link below, or contact the visitor center at (561) 734-8303.

    Note: Please contact refuge staff at least 30 days in advance to make a reservation if (1) you are an instructor who would like to use the refuge as a teaching space for your own group or (2) you plan to bring your own group of five or more individuals. Instructor-led groups will need to fill out a Special Use Permit. Reservations allow staff to avoid conflicts between other groups and resource management activities, and to arrange logistics for those groups requesting services.

    View the Calendar of Events

    Learn more about our Annual Everglades Day Festival

  • Hunting

    Hunting in the wet prairie

    Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 560 national wildlife refuges whose objective is to provide habitat for the conservation and protection for wildlife. Hunting is one tool used to manage wildlife populations at a level compatible with the environment, provide wholesome recreational opportunities, and permit the use of a valuable renewable resource.

    Waterfowl and alligator hunting opportunities are available on the refuge in season.

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  • Fishing


    Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is a great place for anglers to try their luck at catching freshwater fish like largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, redear sunfish, chain pickerel, longnose gar, bluegill, and warmouth.

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  • Boating

    Canoe Trail at Loxahatchee

    The refuge is a popular location for boating. Canoes and kayaks are permitted on the 5.5-mile canoe trail, in the perimeter canal, and in the designated public use area at the southern end of the Refuge. Water-cooled motor boats may launch at any of the three designated boat launches: Headquarters Area (Boynton Beach), Hillsboro Area (Boca Raton), or 20-Mile Bend (West Palm Beach) and are permitted in the perimeter canal and in the designated public use area at the southern end of the Refuge. For information about future airboat use and permitting click here.

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  • Photography

    Man and woman on a bench watching for wildlife

    Whether you use a digital camera or your cell phone, the refuge offers visitors of all skill levels opportunities to photograph wildlife in their natural setting. 

    Visitors can enjoy taking photos along walking and canoe trails, observation platforms at the Marsh Trail and boat ramp, a photo blind on the Marsh Trail, and many places in between. The Cypress Swamp Boardwalk meanders through the largest cypress stand remaining in the northern Everglades, rich with beautiful plants and native wildlife to photograph.

    Have you already taken photos at the refuge? Check out the refuge’s Photo Contest!

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  • Butterfly Garden

    Girl with Monarch

    Did you know that 75% of flowering plants and crops are pollinated by hard-working butterflies, hummingbirds, bats, bees, beetles, and flies? Visit our volunteer-maintained butterfly garden near the visitor center to learn more about our local butterflies and which plants you can grow in your own yard to help sustain our local butterflies and other pollinators.

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  • Pet Walking

    Pet Walking Promo

    Leashed pets are allowed only in designated areas of the refuge. All pet owners are responsible for properly disposing of their pet’s waste.

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  • Environmental Education

    Youth planting cypress trees

    We invest in future generations by providing environmental education programs for local school children, teacher-training programs, and more. The refuge is an excellent place to bring a class to conduct free, hands-on learning in a natural resources setting. We can tailor your visit to fit what you are studying in the classroom or teach a pre-planned lesson.

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  • Horseback Riding

    L-40 Levee looking north

    Horseback riding is permitted on 36 miles of the L-40 and L-39 sections of the perimeter levees, terminating south of the S-6 and S-362 structures. Parking is available to access the perimeter levee from the Headquarters Area entrance at the Lee Road boat ramp or from the Hillsboro Area entrance at the Loxahatchee Road boat ramp. 

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