Along Black Point Wildlife Drive, Wild Birds Unlimited Trail provides a stop for a short, easy walk with panoramic views.
It connect two bird observation platforms on the marshes, perfect for birders and photographers. While not paved, the surface is firm and works well for slow walkers.
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Length: 0.5 mile loop
Trailhead: 28.655817, -80.777273
Fees: Included in Black Point Wildlife Drive, $10 per vehicle or $2 per bicycle
Restroom: Portable toilet at trailhead 1.5 miles farther along Wildlife Drive
Land manager: Merritt Island NWR
Open dawn to dusk. A National Parks Pass, Duck Stamp, or Federal Public Lands Pass covers your parking fee.
Bicycles are not permitted on the trail. Pets aren’t a good idea because of the large number of alligators here. Stay twenty feet away from any alligators you see.
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. Watch for the well-marked entrance on the left. Drive a little under 2 miles along the 7 mile one-way dirt road to get to the trailhead. Parking is on the right just past it.
From the parking area, walk back along Wildlife Drive to access the trailhead. The quarter-mile hardpacked levee allows for a gentle stroll.
Scan the impoundments for birds in the denser marshes to the east as you walk down to the first observation platform.
Built with slatted sides but no roof, it’s a bird blind out in the open, with a spotting scope.
If you didn’t bring binoculars, the spotting scope will help you see the roseate spoonbills that often congregate in coves on the far shore.
Back on the levee, continue walking along it, watching for activity in both the open water and the mangrove marshes.
Keep an eye on the wildflowers that line the trail, as you’ll see plenty of butterflies throughout them.
The second observation platform overlooks a more intimate scene of two small coves surrounded by mangroves. When the tide is low, you’ll see many wading birds working their way through the shallows.
Take the side trail back to the main levee. Follow it back past the first bird blind to the parking area for a 0.5-mile round trip.
Learn more about Black Point Wildlife Drive and the Refuge
More to explore in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
The longest hiking trail at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, the 4.8-mile Allan Cruickshank Memorial Trail makes a large loop off Black Point Wildlife Drive
Delving deep into the hammocks of North Merritt Island, the Palm Hammock Trail treats you to a lush forest of mature saw palmettos under a dense canopy of live oaks on the way to an island of cabbage palms
The wildlife-rich interpretive Oak Hammock Trail at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge provides an easy introduction to the hammocks of the island
See our photos from the Wild Birds Unlimited Trail