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Black Point Wildlife Drive
I went for a drive along the coast as I do often and got to Titusville, FLorida. I then drove across the bridge east to Merritt Island, which is close to where they launch the SpaceX flights at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral. This is also close to the National Seashore if you keep driving east. This is a National Wildlife Refuge. I turn left, past the parks at the "Y" in the road, and on the left hand side I see the Black Point Wildlife Drive. I have passed this way many times in the past on my drives or when I go hiking during the cooler months. I've always wanted to go in there but the $10 fee always stopped me. Well, today I drive by and from a distance I see a sign that says "Fee Free Day". Well, I couldn't pass that up so I stopped, picked out a brochure and drove in!
7 Mile Drive Through Marsh
It was a very warm, humid day so I mostly just wanted to drive through and not do much hiking even though there are some small short hikes here. Places like this attract many types of waterfowl and wading birds.
As you drive through, you'll see many information boards that you can stop and read to give yourself a self guided tour. Some of these are located where the best wildlife viewing of different bird species can be found.
There are lots of beautiful wildflowers growing here too! With Florida's mild climate, some flowers grow here all year round.
All along this one way drive you'll see wading birds. I was taking my time going around and sometimes someone would drive up behind me and I would have to find a safe place to pull over to let them by. You must be careful because the road is sitting on a dike and if you get off of it, you will go into the water and then you have a real problem! Better to wait until you come to a wider spot on the road. There are places that are wider to stop and park if you need to do so.
These are more of the birds here including Herons and Wood Storks. There are also shorebirds here as well.
The road here is in very good condition and not too rough. It can be traveled by most vehicles except buses and larger vehicles.
You will find many different birds here like waterfowl, Great White Herons and Wood Storks depending on the time of the year since many birds do migrate.
Great White Heron
My timing was perfect this day. When I got back to the main road outside the wildlife drive, it began to rain and it was around 4 p.m., which is when I usually start heading back home for dinner. Below you will find some more facts about this place and when you come, you will find other close by attractions like the National Seashore.
The best place to see wildlife is along the Black Point Wildlife Drive. The 7-mile, one-way drive follows a dike road around several shallow marsh impoundments and through pine flatwoods. This provides an excellent place to see waterfowl (in season), wading birds, shorebirds and raptors. Alligators, river otters, bobcats, various species of snakes, and other wildlife may be visible as well. A self-guiding brochure (available near the drive entrance) will provide information on things to look for. Driving time is approximately 40 minutes.
There is a $10 fee (cash or check) per vehicle for a day pass or you can purchase a yearly pass for $25 at the Visitor Information Center. Duck Stamps, America the Beautiful Passes (annual, senior, and access), and Canaveral National Seashore passes may be substituted for the refuge pass.
Buses and vehicles over 29 feet and 2.5 tons are prohibited on the drive.
Pets are allowed on Cruickshank trail, but must be kept on leash.
Restrooms are provided at the Cruickshank Trail stop.
Wildlife is most active in the early morning or late afternoon.
Our peak wildlife season is from October to March.
Wildlife are accustomed to quiet, slow-moving vehicles. Drive slowly and look carefully.
Don't approach or feed wildlife.
Facts Source: fws.gov
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