The refuge does not have a formal wildlife drive, but driving refuge roads is an excellent way to observe wildlife, especially on the Pungo Unit. There are about 80 miles of roads on the refuge that are open to noncommercial, licensed vehicles that are less than 8,000 pounds. All state traffic laws apply on these roads. Many of the open roads (except those on Pungo Unit) are gravel surface. The speed limit on refuge roads is 25 mph.
There are approximately 44 miles of roads on the Pungo Unit. All of them are dirt surface and can get slippery and rough during wet periods and dusty during dry periods. Some of the open roads on the Pungo Unit are closed to vehicles from November through February to reduce disturbance to waterfowl. Sometimes, roads have to be temporarily closed because they become impassable. Some refuge roads have weight limits of less than 8,000 pounds (about the size of a personal pickup truck or standard SUV). These roads cannot support heavier vehicles because they are composed of only peat soils; heavy vehicles can damage the integrity of the road and make roads impassable. Please be aware of road signs indicating weight limits and closures.
In addition, the Pungo Unit may be closed during the special permit-only deer hunts on certain Fridays and Saturdays in September and October. Closed roads are shown on the map in this brochure and/or posted with signs. Please contact our offices to receive the most up-to-date information on road closures for the Pungo Unit.