Our Visit to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida

While we were camping in Titusville, Florida, we decided to visit Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  That was one of the stops we decided to visit while we were in the area.  This place has beautiful and unusual birds and wildlife that inhabit the island area. 

          The road to the entrance of the wildlife refuge is also the road to NASA.  You can easily get turned around in there.  NASA’s launchpad can be seen from the refuge.  You can get to the NASA visitor center from there as well.  We decided to skip that this time, but we did go into the Visitor Center at Merritt Island.

Sign Merritt IslandMerritt Island Visitor Center

          Merritt Island has a very nice Visitor Center.  They have many different displays showing the wildlife that you may see on the island, programs, and activities.  There is a nature walk that you can hike on that goes to the water.  We decided to explore that and see if we could see any manatees.  No luck there, but we did see a very large gator sunning himself on the dock across the waterway.  He must have been 10 to 12 feet long.  We think he was that big because he took up the whole dock!  He was quite a distance away on the other side of the waterway.  We tried to get a picture of him, but no luck, he decided to go back into the water.  That was an interesting experience to say the least!!!

The Visitor Center has a gift shop for souvenirs and a calendar of events and programs that are coming up.  There is also information on when you can see specific wildlife on the island.  We always like going to visitor centers no matter where we go because they have great information about the area and what it has to offer.  This is the Merritt Island website so you can see what they have coming up: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Merritt_Island/

Sign about wildlifeInfo about the wildlife native to Merritt Island.
GatorGator sunning himself across the water.

There is a nature loop that you can drive or bike ride around the island to see the wildlife.  There are pull off areas where you can stop and take pictures of gorgeous birds and other wildlife!  We decided to drive the loop.  One of the areas we pulled off was near a waterway.  We got out to see if we could see any birds or critters, and there was a gator sunning himself on the bank.  He was not paying attention to us.  The waterway was large, and he was on the other side of the bank.  It was neat to see him in the wild.

I highly recommend visiting the Merritt Island National Refuge.  It is a beautiful natural resource to experience in Florida, a bird lovers paradise, and a great way to get out in nature!