Murphy Peterson Wildlife Drive


Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge has an incredible Wildlife Drive where black bear, wild turkeys, all kinds of birds of prey, waterfowl, and other wildlife may be seen. Locals drive around after supper and compare notes about how many bears they have seen in different fields, sharing information with out-of-towners they meet. There's even a chance to see an elusive red wolf! There are a series of roads totalling approximately 15 miles, plus many additional roads are open to vehicles and provide access to thousands of acres of wildlands.  We offer guided tram tours weekly during the summer and monthly throughout the rest of the year.  But, you'll also have a great time exploring the Wildlife Drive on your own.

 Murphy Peterson Wildlife Drive
Welcome to the Murphy Peterson Wildlife Drive, a 15+ mile drive through prime wildlife viewing areas on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

For your convenience, maps are available at the kiosk at Creef Cut Wildlife Trail and at the entrance to the Refuge Operations Facility on Milltail Road. The Drive is not a simple loop, but has a variety of roads from which to choose. Many species of wildlife may be seen, depending on the time of day and year. When you’re trying to get a good look at wildlife on the refuge, your car makes a great blind. For some reason, many animals don’t recognize people in vehicles as a threat, so instead of running away or freezing, they may continue with whatever they were doing. So, just stay in your car, and use your binoculars for a closer view.
If you want to stop anywhere along the road, just pull over to the right so that others may safely pass.

This drive is a memorial to Murphy Peterson who worked on this refuge from April 1990 until his untimely death in April of 2011. Murphy was great in stature and great in heart. He loved the refuges, the people who worked here, and the people who visited.

As a part of Murphy's eulogy, Refuge Manager Mike Bryant said, "Alligator River is a very big place full of life and promise... these qualities matched Murphy’s. And we find the imprint of Murph’s large, strong hands everywhere we turn. We see Murphy Peterson's strong hands and broad smile in the land and on the water at every turn in our wildlife refuge . . . it lifts our spirits . . .[Murph:] . . . we'll see you across the river . . ."

We hope you enjoy your tour through the refuge and we welcome you to return often!