The Cruickshank Hiking Trail and associated observation tower will be closed for the next 3 weeks to repair damage caused by hurricanes Ian and Nicole. The Black Point Wildlife Drive will remain opened, as well as access to the Drive's restrooms. For information on alternative hiking opportunities, please see the "Hiking Trails" brochure at the following link: https://www.fws.gov/media/hiking-trails-merritt-island-nwr .
As a result of damage from recent hurricanes, access to some hunt areas will be affected.
Update for Hunt Areas 2 & 3: Biolab Road is now open. Hunters wishing to hunt the Biolab and Max Hoeck Creek impoundments will now be able to access hunt areas using both the north entrance (Merritt Island NWR) and south entrance (Canaveral National Seashore) of Biolab Road. Waterfowl hunters are no longer permitted to haul boats over Biolab or Max Hoeck Creek impoundment dikes. The Playalinda Beach Road gate of the Canaveral National Seashore will be open at 4:00 a.m. for waterfowl hunters on waterfowl hunt days. Portions of Biolab Road still require additional repairs and hunters should proceed with caution. Hunters wishing to hunt Mosquito Lagoon in Hunt Areas 2 & 3 will still need to utilize refuge boat ramps.
Hunt Area 1 (Quota): Hunters will need to use Peacocks Pocket Road or East Gator Creek Road to access boat ramps in the Peacocks Pocket, Gator Creek and Catfish Creek impoundments. Please note that Peacocks Pocket levee road will be closed. Hunters should be alert to heavy equipment on these roads.
Hunt Area 4 (Quota): While the levees in these areas have experienced some damage from hurricanes Ian and Nicole, hunter access is not affected. However, hunters may encounter obstacles (vegetation, sediment) within perimeter ditches. Please report any debris or blockages encountered in perimeter ditches.
National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge offers a wide diversity of recreational and educational opportunities. From bird watching and nature study, to fishing and seasonal hunting, you are sure to find an activity to satisfy your passion.
Location and Contact Information
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge was established as an overlay of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s John F. Kennedy Space Center. According to the agreement with NASA, the lands and waters of the Kennedy Space Center are primarily to serve the space program and secondarily to serve as a wildlife refuge or park.
What We Do
Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which ais established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1963 for the protection of migratory birds. Consisting of 140,000 acres, the refuge provides a wide variety of habitats: coastal dunes, saltwater marshes, managed impoundments, scrub, pine flatwoods, and hardwood hammocks. These habitats provide habitat for more than 1,500 species of plants and animals and 15 federally listed species.
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