We went to the refuge with the intention of taking the tram tour but unfortunately because of it being the slow season, the tram was cancelled. Which was disappointing because we even called ahead to ask if it was running (and were told yes). But luckily, the very nice man at the information center provided us with a chockfull information. We got maps, and brochoures and advice on where to stop to see the wildlife. By the time we drove down wildlife drive, it was midafternoon and very hot. We stopped at all of the recommended spots and trails. We saw tons of birds and jumping fish. There were a lot of bugs, so be prepared for that. We also saw some crabs popping out of the sand. We were disappointed that we could not find any alligators, rosette spoonbills, or manatees. Overall it was a nice experience but VERY hot!
We also did the self kayaking rental a different morning. This was our first ever kayaking adventure. We went at 10am during the start of low tide. It was very difficult to paddle against the tide going out in the canal. we ended up turning around after the third marker and just sitting in the bay. We were the first ones into the canal so we saw a good amount of birds. Sitting in the bay was very tranquil and peaceful. We could hear the birds as well as the sound of thier wings flapping when the flew above us. There are also tons of fish that jump out of the water. This was neat to watch but startled us now and then.
We also did the Bailey Tract because it was recommended if we wanted to see alligators. We walked two trails of it and ony saw one gator. Be warned that the trails are dirt trails and some are just grass. It also was very hot midday with very little shade.
Overall I enjoyed the Wildlife refuge and wish i could have spent more time looking for wildlife!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.