Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Decatur

4.7
#1 of 15 in Things to do in Decatur
Nature / Park · Hidden Gem · Wildlife Area
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The Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is a 35,000 acre (142 km2) National Wildlife Refuge located along the Tennessee River near Decatur, Alabama. Named after Major General Joseph Wheeler, it was established to provide a habitat for wintering and migrating birds in the eastern United States.

Of the 35,000 acres (142 km2) of the refuge, about 4,085 acres (16.5 km2) are located within Redstone Arsenal. Approximately 1,500 acres (6 km2) of the Redstone Arsenal land is administered by the Marshall Space Flight Center. The facility has a sixteen-person staff with a $1,694,000 annual budget.

Wheeler NWR is charged with the administration of four other National Wildlife Refuges including Fern Cave, Key Cave, Sauta Cave, and the Watercress Darter National Wildlife Refuge. Until recently, Wheeler NWR also administered the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge (now administered by the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge).

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Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
159 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Most every part of the refuge is closed until October 2022 ish. We showed up only to find everything closed. They decided to close right before our trip. 
    Most every part of the refuge is closed until October 2022 ish. We showed up only to find everything closed. They decided to close right before our trip.  more »
  • We arrived in Decatur earlier than expected so had time to check out the area. I wish we would have had more time at the refuge. There were many trails and the area was very nice. There was no... 
    We arrived in Decatur earlier than expected so had time to check out the area. I wish we would have had more time at the refuge. There were many trails and the area was very nice. There was no...  more »
Google
  • Visitor center was actually closed for covid
  • This is the place to go if you are a fan of photography and/or bird watching. Bring a good zoom lens or pair of binoculars and enjoy the two-story indoor bird watching room! There's also a short trail to walk around and see wildlife, with plenty of space to sit and relax and enjoy the views. Very easy to get to, easy to park, highly recommended if you want a relaxing day of watching nature, especially birds.

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