Attention Waterfowl Hunters

As a result of damage from recent hurricanes, access to some hunt areas will be affected.

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 Areas 2 & 3: Due to ongoing repairs to Canaveral National Seashore and Biolab Road, the entirety of Biolab Road will be closed through the end of the waterfowl hunt season. Waterfowl hunters wishing to access Biolab and Max Hoeck impoundments will be permitted to haul boats (no crossing under power) over the levee to access hunt areas. Please note the closest available boat ramp is the Biolab Boat Ramp. Hunters wishing to hunt Mosquito Lagoon in Hunt Areas 2 & 3 will need to utilize refuge boat ramps, as the Playalinda Beach portion of Canaveral National Seashore is closed.  

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.

Visit Us

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

Exhibits, movies, programs, water, restrooms, book store, and trails are available.

Hours of Operation

Year round, open 8 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday.
Closed Sunday, Monday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. 

Refuge roads, trails and boat ramps are open from sunrise to sunset daily. Bair’s Cove boat ramp is the only boat ramp open for night launching.

Fees

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is a federal fee area. A Refuge Pass is required to enter the Black Point Wildlife Drive and Bio Lab Road, and to launch a boat at Bairs Cove, Beacon 42, and Bio Lab boat ramps. Fees collected are used to directly assist with providing safe and meaningful experiences to refuge visitors.

A variety of passes (see Pass Options below) can be purchased in-person at the Visitor Center from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday. Daily passes can be purchased at self-pay stations with exact change. Merritt Island Annual, Daily, and Foot/Bicycle passes can be purchased online at Recreation.gov.

Notes about your pass
  • A Refuge Pass is not required if the visitor is in possession of a current and signed Federal Duck Stamp or an Interagency Pass.
  • The Merritt Island Annual and Daily passes admit the pass-holder and fellow occupants of a single, private non-commercial vehicle.
  • The Merritt Island Foot/Bicycle Daily Pass admits one individual pass-holder on foot or bicycle.
  • The refuge accepts payment in the form of cash or a check. Make checks payable to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Separate fees apply for concessionaire operated tours and rentals.
  • Passes are non-transferable, non-refundable, not replaceable if lost or stolen, and are void if altered or reproduced.
  • When the Visitor Center is closed, use fee envelopes and depository provided at the entrance to Black Point Wildlife Drive and boat ramps for daily passes.
  • Passes marked with an asterisk (*) can be purchased online from the USGS Store and a physical pass will be mailed to you.

Pass Options

Merritt Island Daily Pass - $10.00 per vehicle. Valid only at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Daily passes may be purchased from the Visitor Information Center, self-pay stations, or you can Buy Your Pass Online at Recreation.gov.

Merritt Island Annual Pass - $25.00 per vehicle. Valid only at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Annual passes may be purchased from the Visitor Information Center or you can Buy Your Pass Online at Recreation.gov.

Merritt Island Foot/Bicycle Daily Pass - $10.00 per individual entering the refuge on foot or bike. Valid only at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Foot/Bicycle passes may be purchased from the Visitor Information Center or you can Buy Your Pass Online at Recreation.gov.

Federal Duck Stamp - $25.00. Valid for one year, July 1 to June 30, at all National Wildlife Refuges.

Lifetime Senior Pass* - $80.00 per person age 62 or older. Also provides a 50% discount for pass owner on some expanded amenity fees such as camping. The Lifetime Senior Pass provides access to recreation sites managed by six federal agencies: National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

Annual Senior Pass* - $20.00 per person age 62 or older. Valid for 12 months from the time of purchase. Also provides a 50% discount for pass owner on some expanded amenity fees such as camping. The Annual Senior Pass provide access to recreation sites managed by six federal agencies: National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

Access Pass* - A free lifetime pass for disabled persons. Also provides a 50% discount for pass owner on some expanded amenity fees such as camping. The Access Pass provide access to recreation sites managed by six federal agencies: National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

Military Annual Pass* – A free annual pass available to active duty U.S. Military and dependents.

Military Lifetime Pass* – A free lifetime pass available to U.S. Military Veterans, and Gold Star families.

Interagency Annual Pass* - $80.00 - valid for 12 months from the time of purchase – provide access to recreation sites managed by six federal agencies: National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

Every Kid Outdoors Pass - A free annual pass valid for the duration of the 4th grade school year though the following summer (September 1 – August 31). This pass is available for U.S. 4th graders (including home-schooled and free-choice learners 10 years of age). Voucher required.

2022 Fee Free Days

  • January 17: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • February 21: Presidents’ Day
  • June 19: Juneteenth
  • August 4: Great American Outdoors Act Great American Outdoors Act
    This landmark conservation law, enacted in 2020, authorizes the use of up to $1.9 billion a year in energy development revenues for five years for needed maintenance to facilities and infrastructure in our wildlife refuges, national parks, forests, recreation areas and American Indian schools.

    Learn more about Great American Outdoors Act
  • September 24: National Public Lands Day
  • October 9: National Wildlife Refuge Week
  • November 11: Veterans Day

Trails

The refuge provides a variety of walking paths and hiking trails. All are available year- round. All trails on the refuge are generally flat, but trail substrates are variable, and may include boardwalks, foot paths, or mowed grass. The visitor center boardwalk is currently the only wheelchair accessible trail. While the trails are flat, users should keep in mind that Florida summers are hot and humid, with the potential of daily lightning storms. Be sure to bring water and stay hydrated. The use of sunscreen is highly recommended as many of the trails lack shade. Trail users should be prepared for biting and stinging insects, which may be present in all seasons. Bicycles are not permitted on any of the listed trails.   

Other Facilities in the Complex

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Merritt Island Complex.

Locations

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
1963 Refuge Headquarters Road Titusville, FL 32782
Driving Directions

From I-95, take Exit 220 (Titusville, State Road 406 Exit). Drive east on SR406, also known as Garden Street. Continue east on Garden Street for 4 miles and travel over the Max Brewer Causeway Bridge. The Refuge begins at the east side of the causeway.

To reach the Visitor Information Center, continue 4 miles past the Refuge entrance (remain to your right at the fork in the road) and the Visitor Center entrance sign will be on your right.

Hours
Visitor Center Hours
Wednesday through Saturday
8 AM until 4 PM