skip to content
Pair of Key deer. Photo by Bree McGhee, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Florida Keys national wildlife refuges visitor center re-opens with modified hours due to Hurricane Irma

The Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex Visitor Center located at 179 Key Deer Blvd. in the Big Pine Key shopping plaza has now re-opened with modified hours and days on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays from 10 am- 3 pm. This Visitor Center serves the National Key Deer Refuge, Crocodile Lake NWR, Great White Heron NWR and Key West NWR. Residents and visitors are welcome to come on in, say hello and take advantages of the opportunities offered. Learn about the Key deer and other amazing wildlife and habitats. We hope to return to normal business hours seven days a week beginning in January; however this will depend on volunteer availability and continued progress on Hurricane Irma recovery efforts

The Blue Hole and Watson/Mannillo Trails are open to the public from dawn to dusk. Trails closed prior to September 5th remain closed. Some previously established trails such as the Long Beach Trail sustained significant hurricane damage and are not navigable but the natural, rustic beachfront remains open and accessible for low-impact nature observation on foot.

Further updates regarding further re-openings, especially the Visitor Center, will be announced through our website, local print and radio press releases and our Facebook page. Residents and visitors are encouraged to exercise caution when accessing open areas of the Refuges, such as fire roads, as new natural hazards may exist (e.g. uneven terrain and vegetation debris). Please observe all posted placards and signs and enjoy your Refuges as we all work on hurricane recovery.

For more information, please contact Park Ranger Kristie Killam at and follow Refuge updates on our website and Facebook page.

The National Wildlife Refuge System protects wildlife and wildlife habitat on more than 150 million acres of land and water from the Caribbean to the Pacific, Maine to Alaska. Refuges also improve human health, provide outdoor recreation, and support local economies.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who can make it happen, visit Connect with the Service on Facebook, follow our tweets, watch the YouTube Channel and download photos from Flickr.

Contact Us:

Looking for a media contact? Reach out to a regional spokesperson.

Share this page

Tweet this page on Twitter or follow @USFWSsoutheast

Share this page on Facebook or follow USFWSsoutheast.


Share this page on LinkedIn