Plan Your Visit

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Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is rich in wildlife and recreation opportunities. Thousands of people come to the refuge each year to enjoy solitude, to commune with nature, and to share the joys of wildlife with family and friends. Regulation of recreation activities, such as use hours, hiking in designated areas, and hunting, allow for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats.


Visitor Center/Observation Building    *BUILDINGS CLOSED*

The visitor center serves as the primary visitor contact station that includes restrooms, an orientation film, an information desk, hunting permits, an exhibit hall, a nature store, a wildlife observation building, and two short nature trails.  America The Beautiful Federal Recreation Passes are sold here (cash only). 

November - February 

7-days/week

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

*Visitor Center entrance gate locks at 5:00 PM.

***The Visitor Center and Observation Buildings are currently closed to protect visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Visitor Center grounds, outdoor photo blinds, and portable toilets remain open during business hours***

March - October 

Tuesday - Saturday (closed Sunday-Monday)

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 

*Visitor Center entrance gate locks at 4:00 PM.

Holiday Hours 

The Refuge Visitor Center is closed on Thanksgiving day, Christmas day and July 4.

Visitor Center Location 

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The Refuge Visitor Center is located at 3121 Visitor Center Rd, Decatur AL 35603.

Visitor Center Latitude/Longitude Location: 34.54742,-86.951081

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge consists of 35,000 acres and stretches for 20 miles along both sides of the Tennessee River. In general, we strongly recommend you do not rely on an electronic navigation device to find your way around the refuge. Inaccurate maps and limited reception can lead you astray.

Driving Directions to Refuge Visitor Center 

From Interstate 65, take exit 334 (Decatur/Priceville) and drive toward Decatur on AL Hwy 67 (Point Mallard Parkway) north for 2.5 miles.  Turn left at the Refuge Visitor Center entrance sign shortly after crossing the Flint Creek bridge.

From US Hwy 31, turn onto AL Hwy 67 south (Point Mallard Parkway) and drive for 2 miles.  You will pass the Refuge Headquarters on your left, keep going another half mile and turn right at the Refuge Visitor Center  entrance sign on your right.

From the Shoals via US ALT 72/AL Hwy 20, take AL Hwy 67 south (Beltline Rd) and follow through Decatur.  After crossing the US Hwy 31 intersection, drive 2 more miles on AL Hwy 67 (Point Mallard Parkway).  You will pass the Refuge Headquarters on your left, keep going another half mile and turn right at the Refuge Visitor Center entrance sign on your right.

For additional visitor information contact us by phone at 256-350-6639 or by email at wheeler@fws.gov

For information on nearby lodging and businesses, contact the Decatur Convention and Visitors Bureau (www.decaturcvb.org) at 800-524-6181.


Refuge Headquarters/Administrative Office 

The refuge headquarters office serves as the administrative office for the refuge, there are no visitor services available at refuge headquarters.  Administrative Office hours are Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.  The office is closed on all federal holidays.

The refuge headquarters is located at 2700 Refuge Headquarters Road, Decatur, AL 35603.  For additional administrative information, contact us by phone at 256-353-7243 or by email at wheeler@fws.gov

From I-65 take exit 334 (Decatur/Priceville) and go north on Highway 67 for 3 miles. Visitor Center entrance will be on the left. The headquarters entrance is a quarter mile pass visitor center entrance and will be on the right.

From Highway 31 turn onto Highway 67 south for 2 miles. Headquarters entrance will be on the left. The visitor center entrance is a quarter mile pass headquarters and will be on the right.

From Highway Alt. 72 take Highway 67 south (Beltline Road) and follow it all the way through Decatur.  After crossing the Highway 31 intersection, the visitor center will be 2.5 miles on the right.

Headquarters Latitude/Longitude Location: 34.554577,-86.952068

 


 

INFORMATION, MAPS, AND GUIDES 

Refuge Map

Gate Schedule

Refuge Rules, Regulations, and Closure Maps

Nature Trail Guide

Biking & Hiking Guide

Canoe & Kayak Guide

Refuge General Brochure

Refuge Bird List

Winter Birding at Wheeler NWR

Flint Creek Trail - Tree ID Quiz

North Alabama Birding Trail (regional)

Scavenger Hunt - Wheeler NWR & Cook Museum

Photo Scavenger Hunt - Wheeler NWR