Trails

Refuge trails, boardwalks, and kiosks provide family-friendly wildlife viewing areas. The refuge has few hills and offers easy walks without losing any of the nature-experience opportunities. We manage approximately seven miles of trails, including the three-quarter-mile Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessible Centennial Trail. Need help navigating? Print your own trail map or pick up one of the Pelican Island brochures when you arrive on the refuge. 

Joe Michael Memorial Trail

About a mile into the three-mile Joe Michael Memorial Trail, enjoy an expansive salt-marsh observation deck that is frequented by a variety of shore birds, wading birds, waterfowl and raptors. It’s a great place to sit and watch the osprey dive for fish!  The trail is part of the managed mosquito impoundment, fringed with mangroves and the Indian River Lagoon. The impoundment water levels are managed seasonally, and is a favorite spot for feeding wading birds such as the roseate spoonbill, reddish egret, and herons as well as shorebirds like the American oystercatcher, sanderling, and a variety of sandpipers. Trailhead is at the base of the Centennial Trail. 
Trail Length (mi)
2.55
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
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Bird's Impoundment Trail

Bird’s and Joe’s Impoundment rrails are very similar, although Bird’s trail allows for bank fishing opportunities on the lagoon side. Blue crab, red drum, snook and tarpon are among the most popular catches. This three-mile loop begins at the trailhead located near the informational kiosk near the public restrooms and winds its way around salt marsh habitat and mangrove habitat along the lagoon side.  The trailhead is located at the informational kiosk near the public restrooms. (North Jungle trail)  
Trail Length (mi)
2.73
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
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Centennial Trail

This trail meanders for three-quarters of a mile through restored wetlands, tidal mangroves, and hydric hammocks. During your stroll, look down! The trail incorporates more than 569 engraved planks – one for each refuge in the system established between 1903 and the present, spaced throughout the length of the boardwalk. Each engraved plank includes the refuge name, its state or territory and establishment year.Along the trail are interpretive panels highlighting the significant accomplishments of the refuge system for wildlife conservation in America, and the people who made it happen. This trail incorporates gently inclining slopes and eight-foot-wide paths allowing universal accessibility. It also features an 18-foot-tall observation tower, located among the mangrove and cabbage palm fringe of the Indian River Lagoon, which provides the closest land-based opportunity to view Pelican Island. The tower includes two mounted spotting scopes for viewing the Pelican Island rookery.The trailhead is located at the Pelican Island viewing area parking lot (11455 Jungle Trail, Vero Beach, Florida, 32963) 
Trail Length (mi)
0.35
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Suitability
Wheelchair friendly
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