Facility Activities

Visitors can enjoy many recreational opportunities at Back Bay NWR. We hope you enjoy your visit, feel a connection with nature and come back soon!

 

In addition to the activities listed below, Back Bay NWR offers a variety of interpretive programs and special events throughout the year. Interpretive programs include tram tours through the refuge and adjacent False Cape State Park, fishing clinics, bird walks, summer camps for children and more. Upcoming events are posted in the Events section of the website and on the refuge’s Facebook page.

 

Visitor Center Hours are the following:

Memorial Day to Labor Day: Thursday - Sunday, 10:00am-3:00pm

Labor Day to Memorial Day: Thursday - Saturday, 10:00am-3:00pm

Approximately seven miles of trail and beach are available for hiking and/or bicycling at the refuge. The Raptor, Sunset Point Overlook, Kuralt, Seaside and Dune boardwalk trails are all hiking only trails. These trails are narrow and do not allow enough space for both hikers and bikers to...

Approximately seven miles of trail and beach are available for hiking and/or bicycling at the refuge. The Raptor, Sunset Point Overlook, Kuralt, Seaside and Dune boardwalk trails are all hiking only trails. These trails are narrow and do not allow enough space for both hikers and bikers to...

Opportunities for wildlife observation are everywhere at the wildlife refuge, from the time you enter the gates to the border with False Cape State Park. The time of year will dictate the wildlife you may see – we recommend visiting every season! Several viewing platforms are located throughout...

Fishing season is in accordance with state regulations. Freshwater fishing is offered in Back Bay and D-Pool, where largemouth bass, perch, catfish and bluegill are common. Surf fishing from the beach may bring anglers bluefish, whiting (kingfish), croaker, spot, redfish and others. Because Back...

Wildlife and landscape photography are a popular pastime at the refuge, whether the camera is a cell phone or DSLR system. During the winter months waterfowl, especially tundra swans, are a common subject, particularly when viewed from the dock by the Visitor Center and the Wildlife Viewing...

A soft, earthen launch is located by the Visitor Center for kayaks, canoes and small boats that can be hand-carried. No launching facilities are available for large motor boats. In addition to the launch at the Visitor Center, visitors may enjoy the Horn Point Kayak/Canoe Launch from April 1 –...

National wildlife refuges provide wonderful outdoor classrooms for students of all ages. Programs fulfilling state standards of learning are available for schools visiting on field trips. Refuge staff work with teachers to create a field trip program that will align with classroom topics and...

Since 1985, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge has hosted a white-tailed deer hunt to keep the population of this native species in balance. The hunt is concurrent with one at False Cape State Park, south of the refuge. Hunters are selected by state lottery and assigned a one-day hunt in a...

Visitors to Back Bay Refuge are welcome to enjoy hiking on the refuge beach while searching for shells. Shells are the only items that may be removed from the refuge. Just over three miles of beach are open year-round for select visitor activities. Please remain south of the refuge’s North Mile...

Over 300 species of birds have been documented at Back Bay Refuge. Enjoy hiking trails along Back Bay or search for shorebirds along the refuge’s beach. The East or West Dike Trail provide opportunities to view birds in the refuge’s impoundment complex. The impoundment complex is open seasonally...