Black Point Wildlife Drive


Black Point Wildlife Drive is a premier wildlife observation area built on an existing system of dyke roads, originally created as mosquito control impoundments. The drive is a maintained 7 mile one-way road designed to provide visitors with at safe and enjoyable wildlife viewing experience.

A brochure guide detailing each stop is available at the front gate and the Visitor Center. The refuge also offers Nature Driving Tours that encompasses Black Point Wildlife Drive and other refuge locations.  Narrated by a knowledgeable guide in the refuge shuttle bus, the tour is a great way to learn about refuge wildlife, plants and resource management. Check for Birding Tours also during the migratory season. Space is limited so please call 321-861-5601 to make reservations.

The wildlife drive is open year round from sunrise to sundown.

Merritt Island Wildlife Association
Merritt Island Wildlife Association
Merritt Island Wildlife Association

A pass is required for Black Point Wildlife Drive. A $5 daily pass is available at the drive entrance or at the Visitor Center. An annual pass can also be purchased at the Visitor Center for $15. Cash or check is accepted at this time.  Other Valid Passes include:

  • The America Beautiful (Senior, Access, Annual or Military),
  • Federal Duck Stamp
  • Canaveral National Seashore Passes (Daily and Annual)

The drive is one way and you may stop to view wildlife. Please pull over to let other vehicles pass. Vehicles longer than 29 feet are prohibited and buses are not permitted. For more information about drive rules and safety, please stop by the Visitor Center or visit www.fws.gov/refuge/merritt_island/

Black Point Wildlife Drive offers two hiking trails, Cruickshank Trail and the Wild Bird Trail:

The Allan D. Cruickshank Memorial Trail is a 5 mile (8.1 km) loop located at stop 9 on the Black Point Wildlife Drive.  Allow 2 – 4 hours. The east loops forms a ring around Black Point Marsh and is an excellent place to observe marsh and wading birds. Generally the best birding is October through April. The stop also offers access to the observation tower and restrooms.

The trail was named after Allan D. Cruickshank, a famous wildlife photographer, writer and naturalist who was instrumental in establishing the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Please use caution when walking the Cruickshank trail. Take plenty of water, insect repellent, sunscreen and rain gear.

Wild Bird Trail is a ¼ mile (.4 km) loop and is located at stop 4 on the Black Point Wildlife Drive. The walk generally takes 30 minutes. The trail offers a great opportunity to watch waterfowl, raptors, shore birds and wading birds.

To reach Black Point Wildlife Drive and trails from the Visitor Center:

Turn left out of the Visitor Center entrance road. Turn right at the first intersection onto SR 406 and follow the signs to Black Point wildlife Drive. Turn left to enter BPWD.

The Wild Bird trailhead is at stop 4. Parking is on the right, past the entrance to the trail.

The Cruickshank trailhead is at stop 9.

Merritt Island Wildlife Association
Merritt Island Wildlife Association
Merritt Island Wildlife Association