While many visitors loop the mangrove-lined hardpacked limestone drive in their cars and truck, bicyclists are welcome to ride the roadway as well.

Following levees between huge shallow impoundments in Merritt Island National Wildlife Sanctuary, Black Point Wildlife Drive provides a few of Floridas finest birding.

You can stop at pulloffs between the marshes to invest time birding from your car, or merely manage the roadway at broader areas.

There are likewise 2 locations where you can leave the automobile and wander down a trail to an observation deck, along with one long hike, the Cruickshank Trail

Easy to each observation deck at the Cruickshank Trail.

Resources

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Overview

This is a one-way loop. You can not turn around and exit. Please follow posted speed limits and anticipate most visitors to be going even slower.

Area: TitusvilleLength: 7 miles linearTrailhead: 28.657507, -80.754484 Fees: $10 per vehicle or $2 per bicycleRestroom: Portable toilet at Cruickshank Trailhead. No drinking water.Land supervisor: Merritt Island NWRPhone: 321-861-0669

Open dawn to sunset. A National Parks Pass, Duck Stamp, or Federal Public Lands Pass covers your parking charge.

Strategy at least an hour for the drive, two hours if you expect to walk around a little at the trailheads, and 4-5 hours if you trek the entire Cruickshank Trail loop as well.

Instructions

It describes different points along the path and is keyed to the numbered plaques you see along the road.

Diversion cant be assisted when roseate spoonbills wing overhead in a blur of pink, however thats why there are pulloffs occasionally along the path.

A big alligator close to the Cruickshank Trail.

You can take pictures like this from inside your car.

When the water ponds, the birds– and alligators– gather in tight clusters.

There is a little parking lot for this brief path.

By comparison, the Allan Cruickshank Trail is a 4.8-mile loop out in the sun. Its certainly for more sturdy hikers and ought to be dealt with early in the day.

Herons, egrets, and ibis share a pond.

Cruickshank TrailThe longest treking path at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, the 4.8-mile Allan Cruickshank Memorial Trail loops out to the Indian River Lagoon.

The Wild Birds Unlimited Trail is the very first of the two trails along the drive. Its a half mile round-trip out to 2 bird blinds on 2 various depths of impoundments.

As the narrow roadway weaves between dropoffs into open lagoons and mangrove marshes, take notice of the edges of the road while scanning the skies and the trees.

The very first couple of miles are through large shallow impoundments where depending on water conditions, the flats might be muddy and dry with ponds, or a sheet of water.

Dont forget to search for in the trees and down along the banks, too. Birds roost above and choose through the lawns listed below, or preen and stand.

Almost 5 miles long, the Cruickshank Trail is on a levee out to the Indian River Lagoon.

Male painted bunting at a feeder along the Visitor Center Boardwalk.

Wild Birds Unlimited TrailAlong Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Wild Birds Unlimited Trail is a brief available path linking 2 great bird observation platforms on the marshes.

Walking.

When youre past it on this one way roadway, there are only a couple more pulloffs before you run out of impoundments.

You can check out other birding locations in the preserve, like the Pine Flatwoods Trail, the Scrub Ridge Trail, and the Visitor Center Boardwalk.

On our drives along Black Point Wildlife Drive, weve discovered the best variety of birds to be essentially during hiking season, in between October and early April.

The Cruickshank Trail also provides the only restroom along Black Point Wildlife Drive, and the only parking area.

You can easily spend an hour simply observing wildlife in between the observation platforms.

Stop at the entry kiosk to pay your fee (or display your pass in your windshield) and select up a copy of the interpretive sales brochure.

An unexpected variety of birds collects on the mud flats.

Even without stops for hiking, a birding expedition can take half the day at a slow pace. Specifically if you brought a great video camera. Use your automobile like a bird blind.

Once you get out to SR 3, turn right to get to the crossway with SR 406, where another ideal turn will lead you back past the entryway to the drive and back to Titusville.

Be courteous to other chauffeurs and use them, or a minimum of pull to the side to let others pass when you stop for a picture.

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From Interstate 95 exit 220, Titusville, follow SR 406 east for 8 miles to cross limit Brewer Bridge and the causeway to Merritt Island. Stay left at the divide in the roadway to continue on CR 406. Enjoy for the well-marked entryway on the.

The last stretch of the drive.

The tail end of the drive is a long straight path paralleling a canal out to SR 3. Hardly ever exists a reason to stop on this area and there are no recognized pulloffs.

Even if you dont wish to take a long hike, its worth a stop at the Cruickshank Trail its three observation platforms, all within a quarter mile of the trailhead.

Weve observed roseate spoonbills and alligators of every size really near the trailhead.

Cars stopped at one of the pulloffs along the drive.

Explore More!

Brevard Coast to Coast TrailThe eastern terminus of the state-spanning Coast to Coast Trail is in the trail town of Titusville, where a flight on the Brevard Coast to Coast Trail offers bicyclists the very best ride in the county.

Please follow published speed limits and anticipate most visitors to be going even slower.

See our photos from Black Point Wildlife Drive.

There is no bike lane. Download a copy of the Refuge map, listed below, for the complete route.

Following the Brevard Coast to Coast Trail, its a short road trip along SR 406 from its present terminus at the refuge limit to Black Point Wildlife Drive.

From Interstate 95 exit 220, Titusville, follow SR 406 east for 8 miles to cross the Max Brewer Bridge and the causeway to Merritt Island. Stay left at the divide in the road to continue on CR 406. Even without stops for treking, a birding exploration can take half the day at a slow pace. Use your automobile like a bird blind.

More to explore in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

North Merritt Island by BikeA bike ride through the northern part of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge from Titusville to the Haulover Canal and back.

Slideshow.

Sanctuary Map (PDF) Official Website.

Learn more about Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Merritt Island National Wildlife RefugeBlanketing the north end of Merritt Island in between the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge protects 140,000 acres with some of the finest birding in Florida.

Neighboring Adventures.