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Visitor Activities

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Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR provides wildlife dependent public uses such as hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, environmental education, and interpretation. However, the primary objective of a national wildlife refuge is to provide habitat for the conservation of all species of wildlife.

  • Wildlife Viewing


    The refuge's 143,954 acres provide habitat and protection for many species of wildlife which include as many as 257 species of birds, 23 types of mammals, at least 60 species of reptiles and amphibians, and approximately 40 species of butterflies can be 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.

    Wildlife viewing varies throughout the year and is best during the early morning or evening. Points of interest, trails, viewing blinds, and observation platforms have been developed to encourage and enhance wildlife viewing. The refuge maintains ten impounded wetlands with walking trails accessible from the Marsh Trail parking lot. In these impounded wetlands, water levels are manipulated to encourage different species of birds to feed and nest. All of these wetlands are surrounded by levees that provide paths for visitors to observe and photograph birds and other wildlife in a natural setting.

  • Special Events


    Special events are hosted throughout the year. To find out more information please contact the visitor center at (561) 734-8303.

    Everglades Day - 2nd Saturday in February
    International Migratory Bird Day - 2nd Saturday in May
    Kid's Fishing Day - 2nd Saturday in June
    National Public Lands Day - Saturday, September 30, 2017
    National Wildlife Refuge Week - 2nd week of October

  • Photography


    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!

    Learn More
  • Fishing


    The Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge consists of three designated fishing areas: Headquarters, Hillsboro, and 20-Mile Bend Areas. Within these areas, you'll find freshwater native species that include, but are not limited to: largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, redear sunfish, chain pickerel, longnose gar, bluegill, and warmouth. Additionally, you might also catch these Exotic species that are present around south Florida: Mayan cichlid, butterfly peacock bass, oscar, spotted tilapia, and sailfin catfish, etc.

    Sport fishing is permitted at a level that does not adversely affect wildlife or their environment. Fishing provides recreational opportunities and permits the use of a valuable renewable resource. All recreational anglers must possess a valid Florida fishing license in accordance with the laws of the state of Florida. For a complete listing of sport fishing and boating regulations on the refuge, please download our fishing and boating brochure.

    Click here for the Fishing and Boating Regulations Brochure

  • Hunting


    Waterfowl hunting is permitted in designated areas in the late fall and early winter months. All hunters must possess a valid Florida State Hunting License and Florida State Duck Stamp. In addition, all hunters must possess a valid signed Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp) and a Refuge specific hunting permit. Youth hunters (under the age of 16) are only required to possess a Refuge specific hunting permit. Waterfowl hunting is allowed in accordance with state and refuge regulations, which may vary from year to year. They are outlined in the annual Refuge hunting permit, which is available each year after November 1st.

    Click here for the Waterfowl Hunting Regulations Brochure

    Alligator hunting is permitted in designated hunt areas by permit only. Permits are obtained by lottery drawings through the Florida Wildlife Commission website. For more information please contact the Administrative Office at 561-732-3684. 

    Click here for the Alligator Hunting Regulations Brochure

  • Interpretive Programs


    There are a variety of interpretive programs offered to the public throughout the year. These programs range from guided hikes to audiovisual presentations and more.

    Note Please contact refuge staff at least one month in advance to make a reservation for guided tours of groups larger than five (5) individuals. Reservations allow staff to avoid conflicts between other groups and resource management activities, and to arrange logistics for those groups requesting services.

Page Photo Credits — Wood stork in cypress swamp - J. Kleen/USFWS, Roving rangers - Sinowitz
Last Updated: Apr 18, 2017
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