Florida On A Tankful: Spot over 300 species of birds at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge

By Caitlin Wilson , Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, November 11, 2017, 3:14 PM EST

There’s some incredible space technology at the Kennedy Space Center, but the land it sits on holds a whole new treasure for the space coast.

The Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge offers 40,000 plus acres for its visitors, many coming for their most popular activity, some good old fashioned bird watching. Over 300 different species of birds live across the refuge and 14 endangered species call it home.

Whether it’s kayaking, watching manatees sunbathe, or a scenic hike, it’s not hard to find something to do.

“There is a lot going on here which makes it not just a great place to work but visit too,” said Kim King Wren with the Visitors Center at the National Wildlife Refuge.

Kim should know — jobs in 10 national parks and four refuges across the country all led her here to Merritt Island.

“What makes it so great here at Merritt Island is that we’re dark.” Kim said. “We don’t have lights from the city or from homes or roads, it’s just wildlife.”

For those who spend 365 days of the year showing off the refuge, they can’t help but call it a little slice of heaven.

“You can calm down, connect with nature, and relax,” Kim said, “Merritt Island Wildlife refuge is a great place to do that, recharge your batteries, relax, and connect with nature.”

Refuge roads, trails and boat ramps are open from sunrise to sunset daily.

The visitor center is also now open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the next six months.

There is a $10 daily fee per vehicle for entry into Black Point Wildlife drive and the boat ramps.