Visitor Activities

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  • Visitor Information Center


    The Visitor Center is now OPEN !
    Wednesday through Saturday - 8 AM until 4 PM.

    Some Merritt Island NWR refuge locations are CLOSED until further Notice.

    This is a great place to start your visit and find answers to your questions. Exhibits, movies, programs, water, restrooms, book store, and trails are available.

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  • Wildlife Viewing

    Visitor Activities Wildlife Viewing

    Black Point Wildlife Drive, a 7 mile auto tour, is our most popular wildlife viewing area. Many refuge dike roads also offer excellent wildlife observation and photography opportunities. The Manatee Observation Deck is a handicap accessible opportunity to view manatees in the wild.

    Current Information:
    The Manatee Observation Deck is NOW OPEN.


  • Fishing

    Visitor Activities Fishing

    Merritt Island NWR is a great place for saltwater anglers to try their luck at catching sea trout, red drum, black drum, snook, and tarpon. 

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  • Bird Watching

    Visitor Activities Photography

    We welcome beginning and expert photographers alike to record their outdoor adventures. Individuals who wish to photograph or film their refuge visits for personal use do not need a refuge permit.

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  • Hiking

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    There are six hiking trails. Areas other than trails may be hiking unless posted with a sign stating "Area Closed". Dike roads between impoundments vary in length and can provide interesting hikes.

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  • Hunting


    Hunting is an important wildlife management tool that we recognize as a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage. Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciate of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs. Hunting on the refuge does not pose a threat to wildlife populations, and in some instances is necessary for sound wildlife management.

    Waterfowl and Deer/Hog hunting opportunities are available on the refuge in season. 

  • Interpretation

    Visitor Activities Interpretation

    Besides enjoying our pristine environment, visitors have an opportunity to participate in ranger led interpretive programs and activities.  Self-guided trails and a variety of programs and activities, such as the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival and Trash Bash occur throughout the year.

  • Environmental Education

    Visitor Activities Env Ed

    Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge provides a variety of educational opportunities for all ages in an effort to increase an awareness and appreciation for the natural environment.
    The refuge offers free guided or self-guided programs that can be scheduled by calling 321-861-0669. Call to find out what programs are currently available.
    The 2-4 hour long programs are available to public, private, home school, and scout groups. Programs can be adapted to various grade levels. Please schedule your program three weeks in advance.