Visitor Activities


There is a lot to see and do at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.  Come and visit and see for yourself.

  • Wildlife Observation


    Whether from one of our hiking trails, observation platforms, or by kayak the Refuge offers excellent wildlife observation and photography opportunities. We offer a bird’s eye view of Pelican Island Proper were you can view the Pelican Island rookery from a distance, as well as other beautiful Indian River Lagoon scenery. A variety of wading birds, shore birds, ducks and occasional raptors, depending on the season, can be seen. Our experienced volunteers also give free wildlife tours November through March by tram to our observation platforms and over our trail system.

  • Fishing


    Fishing is a popular visitor pastime on the Refuge. Almost 5,000 acres of the saltwater Indian River Lagoon is a great place for anglers to try their luck at catching sea trout, red drum, black drum, snook, and tarpon. Bank fishing is available on the Refuge, but the best opportunities are by boat. Boat launch facilities can be found in Sebastian FL, the Wabasso Causeway, and at Sebastian Inlet State Park.

    For a great place to reconnect with a favorite childhood activity or to try it for the first time, make plans to fish at a national wildlife refuge soon.  Find more information with our on-line Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuges.

  • Environmental Education


    Pelican 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. Programs can be scheduled by contacting our Visitor Services Manager by email at or by phone (772) 581-5557.

  • Interpretation


    Besides enjoying our pristine environment, visitors have an opportunity to participate in self-guided activities. The iNature Trail is an interactive trail along the Centennial Trail and Boardwalk using QR Code technology to provide video tours at your fingertips. Smartphone users can scan QR codes on signs along the trail to get photos, videos and descriptions of different areas within the Refuge.

  • Hiking


    There are three hiking trails that cover about seven miles and can provide interesting hikes. The Centennial Trail is a ¾ mile ADA accessible trail which includes the Centennial Trail Pond, the National Wildlife Refuge Boardwalk and the Observation Tower and is the highlight of our trail system.

    Learn More