- Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge rests on the John F. Kennedy Space Center, east of Titusville along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Approximately one half the refuge's 140,000 acres consists of brackish estuaries and marshes. The remaining lands consist of coastal dunes, scrub oaks, pine forests and flatwoods, and palm and oak hammocks. The coastal location is semitropical contributing to the importance as a major wintering area for migratory birds. More than 500 species of wildlife can be found on Merritt Island.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge offers its visitors a tremendous bird-watching opportunity, so much that in recent years an annual November bird festival has become a popular attraction. The refuge offers a visitor center where tourists can learn about the diverse ecosystem along with the tremendous variety of bird species. Education programs are held throughout the year. Boating, paddling, hiking and fishing are old-time favorites. Be sure to allow enough time for the six-mile driving tour. This short drive is so enthralling, some have been known to linger over two hours. Hiking trails cut through the drive offering an opportunity to stretch weary legs and also get a different perspective of the refuge's birdlife. Don't forget your binoculars and camera! Note: this refuge borders the Kennedy Space Center; consequently, the wildlife drive is closed during shuttle lifts.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge rests on the John F. Kennedy Space Center, east of Titusville, Florida. The Visitor Center is located along State Route 402. The driving tour begins along State Route 406.
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