Bayside Drive

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Check this page for updates on the popular Bayside Drive!


**Update 10/10/2018 - Bayside Drive is currently under construction, drive will be closed to all visitors during this time. Construction is expected to be completed early 2019, but please call and check as there can be delays. 

 

 

Bayside Drive was closed to private vehicles in October of 2013, after two endangered ocelots had been struck and killed by vehicles on the drive in 2009 and 2010.  GPS data collected from tracking collars showed that ocelots were crossing Bayside Drive up to 100 times per month.  The small ocelot population could not withstand another preventable loss.  The refuge manager closed the road to private vehicles until a solution could be found. Bayside Drive has remained open for walking and biking and the refuge has offered guided Habitat Tours by bus or tram.

With the dual goals of protecting wildlife and allowing the public to enjoy and learn about nature, the refuge worked with the Federal Highway Administration to develop a plan that would allow public vehicles back on Bayside Drive, while minimizing the danger to wildlife.  Two under the road wildlife crossings (similar to box culverts) will be installed so that ocelots and other wildlife can move about their natural ranges without having to cross on top of the road.  Parts of the drive that formerly made a loop will remain closed to vehicles, thus the remainder of the drive will be widened to allow for two way traffic.  The entrance to the drive will be relocated to the south to avoid ocelot habitat.  

Once construction is completed, the refuge plans to reopen the Bayside Drive to hiking and biking, and to private vehicles on a limited basis. Construction is expected to be completed in 2019.   The refuge offers over 60 miles of hiking and biking trails in addition to the Bayside Drive, and we encourage the public to continue visiting while construction takes place.

Contact the visitor center at 956-748-3607  ext 111 for more information. 

We appreciate your patience and cooperation and believe we have made the best choice for the needs of wildlife and people based on the scientific data we have collected.