Current Road Conditions at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Weather, repairs, 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 June 17, 2024. A complete map of the refuge can be found in the Refuge Tearsheet.

The refuge is open during daylight hours (half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset).

Upper and Lower Creef Units

The Lower Creef unit, between Link, Bear, Borrow Pit, and Long Curve Roads, is currently closed. This includes Grouse Road, Link Road, and Bear Road. Roads and refuge farm fields are closed to all traffic, including foot traffic. Visitors are still able to travel the rest of the Wildlife Drive, Long Curve Road, and Borrow Pit Road, as well as all other refuge roads open at this time of year. 

There is currently no stopping, standing, or parking on Long Curve Road between Milltail Road and Grouse Road. While observing wildlife on this section of road, do not stop, get out of your vehicle or linger in one area.

These closures and restrictions are necessary due to growing visitation pressure on both red wolves and black bears in this area. Some visitor behaviors change wildlife behaviors and lead to an unnatural comfort level of red wolves and bears around people and vehicles. These behaviors include closely approaching wildlife, following wildlife, and remaining in one spot for long duration. When humans and vehicles remain in one place for long periods of time, animals are unable to use the area without human presence. Human presence can prevent animals from using important foraging habitat and can force animals into close contact with humans, increasing the risk of habituation.

Human habituation, or acclimating to the presence of people, reduces wildlife’s normal elusiveness and fear responses. Instead of avoiding areas of human activity and fleeing at the sight of people, the animals may choose to approach or remain closer than is natural. Acclimating to people may increase the likelihood of incidents that are detrimental to their survival, such as the vehicle strike mortality of red wolf 2323, the breeding male of the Milltail red wolf pack.

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. Follow these viewing guidelines:

  • Use binoculars or a zoom lens to view wildlife from a distance—at least 100 yards or eight school buses.  
  • If wildlife approaches you, move back to stay 100 yards away.
  • If animals react to your presence, you are too close.
  • Don’t remain in one spot for a long time, so that wildlife has time to use that area without human presence.
  • 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, do not block traffic, and move on once you've had a good look.

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.

The Upper Creef Unit, which lies east of Milltail Road and north of Link Road and includes Gadwall, Bobcat, Creef, Peterson, and Sprigtail Roads, is closed to all public entry for resource management.

Buffalo City Road

The end of Buffalo City Road is very low-lying, and rain and water levels may cause water to cover parts of the road. Please avoid flooded areas when parking and turning around. 

Bay and Cypress Roads

Due to muddy, rough conditions, Bay and Cypress Roads are closed to motorized vehicles. 

Grassy Patch Road

Grassy Patch Road is currently closed to all public entry for refuge management activities.

Laurel Bay Unit

The Laurel Bay Unit is the area west of Buffalo City Road. Laurel Bay Road, Beaver Road, Hickory Road, Wynne Road, and North Perimeter Road west of Buffalo City Road are closed to motorized vehicles until fall. Osprey and Hook Roads are closed to all public entry. 

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Motor vehicles
Public access
Visitor services