Current Road Conditions at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Repair and wildlife management activities have led to the temporary closures of several refuge roads to vehicles and/or general public access. The descriptions below summarize current road status as of May 10, 2023. A complete map of the refuge can be found in the Refuge Tearsheet.

Roads and units in purple are closed to all traffic. More details about the closures can be found in the story below.

Sawyer Lake Road

The Service has closed Sawyer Lake Road between Butler and Milltail Roads for emergency road repairs. There is not a set reopening date at this time; the road will be re-opened as soon as possible following repairs. This work will improve the dike's integrity and road surface for visitors in the future. Visitors can detour along Butler and Sandy Ridge roads. Please use caution when driving as these roads are narrow.

Upper and Lower Creef Units

The Service will close Link Road at the intersection with Long Curve Rd and Bear Road north of the intersection with Grouse Rd through August 31, 2023. Gates will be installed at the road intersections and the roads will be closed to all traffic, including foot traffic. Refuge roads in the Upper Creef Unit, including Gadwall, Bobcat, Creef, Peterson, and Sprigtail Roads, will remain closed to vehicle and foot traffic through August 31.

The closures are necessary to give the Milltail pack of red wolves an opportunity to utilize this area during these critical months. Alligator River NWR may open or close roads, including other sections of Grouse and Bear Roads, intermittently over the next few months based on red wolf activity and behavior. Visitors will still be able to travel the Wildlife Drive, the entirety of Long Curve Road, and Borrow Pit Road, as well as visit the remainder of the Refuge roads open at this time of year.

Please be mindful of your behaviors and actions at all times when on the refuge. On a National Wildlife Refuge, the welfare of plants and animals and their habitats come first. Use binoculars or a zoom lens to view wildlife from a distance. If wildlife approach you, move back. In general, if animals react to your presence, you are too close. It’s illegal to feed, touch, tease, frighten, or intentionally disturb wildlife. Be careful when driving to protect wildlife as well. Be sure to always follow the speed limits and watch for wildlife that may dart into the road. When you want to stop to watch wildlife, pull your vehicle to the side of the road and do not block traffic. 

Red Wolf Recovery Program staff will be continually monitoring red wolf activity in the area of the closures throughout this time period. The most reliable source for current information about red wolves is the Red Wolf Recovery Program website.

Laurel Bay Unit

The Laurel Bay Unit is the farming unit west of Buffalo City Road. The seasonal closure to vehicles is now in effect. The unit is currently open to foot traffic only until September 1, 2023.

Story Tags

Motor vehicles
Public access
Visitor services