Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


  • TRAM for Rotator Item Sized

    Take a Tram !

    It's 90 minutes and good for all ages! Call Tarpon Bay Explorers, official Refuge Concessionaire. at 239/472-1351 for daily schedule.

    Refuge Tram Tour Schedule

  • Facebook Widget Promo

    We'll Miss You, Too

    Stay connected when you are away from the Refuge! Follow us on Facebook to stay in-the-know about what's going on at the Refuge.

    Learn how to stay connected.

  • Eagle

    Recent Wildlife Sightings

    Check out what has been spotted on the Refuge. Our list is updated weekly so you know what to keep an eye out for when you visit.

    Learn More

  • Ethical Wildlife Viewing Spoonbill

    Ethical Wildlife Viewing

    Remember while visiting your refuge to view and photograph wildlife in a safe and ethical way.

    Learn more about ethical wildlife viewing

  • App Widget Promo

    FREE Discover Ding App

    Download the App and play the trivia game along Wildlife Drive. Share photos, field tips, and score high points.

    Learn more about the Discover Ding App.


Free Tours have started at Ding !

IndigoTrailHikeFeb2021 200W

Limited to only 10 participates You must sign up on Beach walks, trail hikes, art journal walks, birding tours, bike tours and more! Tours are added weekly and end April 11, 2021 *Masks are mandatory and social distancing guidelines are followed.

"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society- Friends of the Refuge


The "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society (Society)- Friends of the Refuge is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports nature conservation, wildlife protection, and education efforts at the refuge. Support the Society today!

Learn more about the Society

Tarpon Bay Explorers

TBE Logo

Nestled on Refuge lands adjacent to Tarpon Bay Recreation Area, Tarpon Bay Explorers offers a variety of nature tours and rentals to help you make the most of your "Ding" Darling NWR experience. As our official Refuge concessionaire, Tarpon Bay Explorers offers the best view of the Refuge from the water.

Learn more about Tarpon Bay Explorers and the 2019 Summer Programs

America's Birding Hotspot & eBird

Right Col Video

"Ding" Darling is known as one of the best places to visit for birding. Watch our video, "America's Birding Hotspot" to see the beautiful imagery that awaits you at the Refuge. Also check out our eBird Tracker and find out what species have been seen on the refuge today!

Find out more...
Refuge Information

Hours and Admission

Welcome Sign

Wildlife Drive is open every day EXCEPT FRIDAYS regardless of holidays and admission is $10 per vehicle, $1 per pedestrian or bicycle. The Annual Pass is now $25 as of October 1, 2020. The "Ding" Darling Visitor & Education Center is FREE. Hours of operation vary. EXHIBITS ARE CLOSED. Click the link for details.

See Refuge hours and admission

About the Complex

J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge Complex

J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS