Group Sites & Facilities

  • Visitor Contact Station (V.C.S.)

    Memorial Day to Labor Day the VCS is open Tuesday - Sunday. Beginning Labor Day, through Memorial Day, the VCS is open Tuesday - Saturday. Hours are 8:00am – 4:00pm Monday – Friday and 9:00am – 4:00pm Saturday and Sunday. The VCS contains a small exhibit area, an information counter and a small classroom area that can be used by small groups. Please call ahead for reservations.

  • Outdoor Classroom Site

    A small pond, located near the V.C.S., was converted to an area for use specifically by outdoor classroom groups. A platform has been built over the pond to allow for collecting and sampling activities. A boardwalk stretching out into the marsh is located directly behind the pond area.

  • Bay Trail

    This interpretive foot trail meanders for approximately .4 miles through a shrub and marsh habitat before coming out onto Back Bay. Small footbridges carry groups over low areas and observation platforms offer students a close view of the marsh. This is not a loop trail system. Access to and from the Bay is over the same pathway. The trail can be used by groups studying the marsh, shrub, and bay habitat.

  • D-Pool Pier

    A small pier located approximately 0.25 miles from the Visitor Contact Station offers freshwater fishing and water sampling opportunities. It is excellent for groups learning about freshwater ecosystems and wildlife.

  • Dune Trail

    Located .25 miles south of the V.C.S., this boardwalk traverses the dune area and connects the East Dike Road with the beach. The trail itself is approximately .125 miles in length and contains an observation platform which overlooks the Bay to the west and the dunes to the east. It is an excellent trail for group use since it is more secluded and not as heavily traveled by general refuge visitors. This area is excellent for studying beach and dune habitats.

  • Seaside Trail

    This portable boardwalk, located directly behind the VCS, is an easy access route to the beach. The trail meanders through sand dunes for 1,000 feet before reaching the beach. It provides an excellent area for studying dune plants, animal tracks, dune formations, and movement of sands. Use this boardwalk when you are short on time and want to reach the beach as fast as possible.

  • Dike System

    More than four miles of dike roads run through out the refuge and help form several large impoundments for migratory bird use. These areas are open seasonally for group use although time restrictions usually prevent students from venturing too far into the refuge. Groups will find excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife along these roads and for investigations of the marsh and freshwater ditch habitats. Contact the refuge in advance to determine the extent of seasonal closures which are enacted to protect birds during critical periods of migration and wintering.

  • Back Bay

    Teachers may utilize Back Bay for educational activities. Directly in front of the VCS, near the old boat dock, is an area that teachers will find useful for freshwater studies. A canoe/kayak launch is also available but trailers are prohibited due to limited parking. Fishing, water quality monitoring and other environmental education activities are encouraged at this location.

  • Ashville Bridge Creek Environmental Education Center

    The center is available to pre-scheduled groups (school, civic, and professional) for slide talks, films, and outdoor classroom activities. Public programs are regularly announced. Phone the refuge office for more information.