Plan Your Visit

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Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is rich in wildlife and recreation opportunities. Thousands of people come to the refuge each year to enjoy solitude, to commune with nature, and to share the joys of wildlife with family and friends. Regulation of recreation activities, such as use hours, hiking in designated areas, and hunting, allow for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats.


Visitor Center/Observation Building

The visitor center serves as the primary visitor contact station that includes restrooms, an orientation film, an information desk, hunting permits, an exhibit hall, a nature store, a wildlife observation building, and two short nature trails.  America The Beautiful Federal Recreation Passes are also sold here (cash only). 

October - February

7-days/week

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

*Visitor Center entrance gate locks at 5:00 PM.

March - September

Tuesday - Saturday (closed Sunday-Monday)

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 

*Visitor Center entrance gate locks at 4:00 PM.

Holiday Hours

The visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving day, Christmas day and July 4.

Visitor Center Location

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The refuge visitor center is located at 3121 Visitor Center Rd, Decatur AL 35603.

Visitor Center Latitude/Longitude Location: 34.54742,-86.951081

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge consists of 35,000 acres and stretches for 20 miles along both sides of the Tennessee River. In general, we strongly recommend you do not rely on an electronic navigation device to find your way around the refuge. Inaccurate maps and limited reception can lead you astray.

Driving Directions to Visitor Center

From I-65 take ext 334 (Decatur/Priceville) and go north on Highway 67 for 2.5 miles.  Visitor Center entrance will be on the left.

From Highway 31 turn onto Highway 67 south and travel 2 miles.  You will pass the Headquarters entrance on your left, keep going another quarter mile and the visitor center entrance will be on the right.

From Highway Alt. 72 take Highway 67 south (Beltline Road) and follow it all the way through Decatur.  After crossing the Highway 31 intersection travel 2 more miles, you will pass the Headquarters entrance on your left, keep going another quarter mile and the visitor center entrance will be on the right.

For additional visitor information contact us by phone at 256-350-6639 or by email at wheeler@fws.gov

For information on nearby lodging and businesses, contact the Decatur Convention and Visitors Bureau (www.decaturcvb.org) at 800-524-6181.


Refuge Headquarters/Administrative Office

The refuge headquarters office serves as the administrative office for the refuge and is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.  The office is closed on all federal holidays.

The refuge headquarters is located at 2700 Refuge Headquarters Road, Decatur, AL 35603.  For additional administrative information, contact us by phone at 256-353-7243 or by email at wheeler@fws.gov

From I-65 take exit 334 (Decatur/Priceville) and go north on Highway 67 for 3 miles. Visitor Center entrance will be on the left. The headquarters entrance is a quarter mile pass visitor center entrance and will be on the right.

From Highway 31 turn onto Highway 67 south for 2 miles. Headquarters entrance will be on the left. The visitor center entrance is a quarter mile pass headquarters and will be on the right.

From Highway Alt. 72 take Highway 67 south (Beltline Road) and follow it all the way through Decatur.  After crossing the Highway 31 intersection, the visitor center will be 2.5 miles on the right.

Headquarters Latitude/Longitude Location: 34.554577,-86.952068