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Wheeler Wildlife Refuge

Features Animals
Review Highlights
Cranes, Ducks, Geese, and Eagles! Oh my!

Went to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge today hoping to see a Whooping Crane. Our wish was... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Riverside, Alabama
Bird Watching

We saw many Sandhill Cranes, but the highlight was seeing a Whooping Crane. The offices and viewing... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Kerry S
Lynchburg, United States
Read all 139 reviews
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  • Excellent74%
  • Very good23%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“sandhill cranes”(21 reviews)
“visitor center”(16 reviews)
“short walk”(12 reviews)
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Rte 67, Decatur, AL 35603
+1 256-350-6639
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Reviews (139)
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All reviews sandhill cranes visitor center short walk bird watching viewing area walking trails nature center wonderful place whooping crane main building two story knowledgeable staff migration season crane festival snow goose tennessee river day trip
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1 - 10 of 137 reviews
Reviewed yesterday

Went to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge today hoping to see a Whooping Crane. Our wish was granted. There was only one, but it was amazing. We saw thousands of sandhill cranes, several ducks, geese, and one eagle. The park ranger was so helpful and informative....More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank SuperTechBoyd
Reviewed 5 days ago

We saw many Sandhill Cranes, but the highlight was seeing a Whooping Crane. The offices and viewing stand was closed because of the partial government shutdown.The walking trails were open and some of the driving roads were open. we saw many birds and a few...More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Kerry S
Reviewed November 17, 2018 via mobile

If you enjoy birding and wildlife, this is the place. One of my very favorite places to visit no matter what the season. Since I only live about seven miles from the refugee I visit quite often. Last year there were about 17,000 Sandhill Cranes...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank bjhamric
Reviewed September 23, 2018

Every ranger or employee is VERY helpful and knowledgable. This is a great place for families to visit. It has a nature center, (short) walking trails, a nature observatory - which is a great place to view the Sandhill Cranes when they winter here.

Date of experience: February 2018
Thank Sue T
Reviewed August 9, 2018

I have been a volunteer and advocate of the refuge system for 30 plus years. No matter when you visit it is an environmental oasis. Best time to see migratory birds in winter and the seeing the endangered whooping cranes from the observation building is...More

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank maryleerat
Reviewed July 31, 2018

My husband and I are kayak fisher-people and we had a few days left on our Alabama fishing license so we made the 3 hour journey to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge...it was well worth it. They have special boat docks for canoe and kayaks...where you...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank fireball92771
Reviewed July 13, 2018

My wife and I traveled here this April and really enjoyed the beauty and the wildlife of the refuge. This NWR is located in north central Alabama very near the large city of Decatur. It was established in 1938 as a breeding ground for migratory...More

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank BluegooseTraveler
Reviewed June 28, 2018 via mobile

We stopped here on a whim and were surprised. The staff was very informative. Wish we had come during the migration season so we could see the birds. Will be back.

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank rdaniel911
Reviewed June 18, 2018 via mobile

Well presented ; carefully maintained ; presents a diversity of water fowl ...ducks , geese , cranes , herons , egrets , etc. Terrific viewing opportunities for the visitors , a small wildlife museum beyond water fowl , theater presentation of wildlife movies , knowledgeable...More

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Rebelrpr
Reviewed June 18, 2018 via mobile

The best bbq around. I live for the chicken loaded baked potatoe. Very friendly staff and clean establishment.

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank ayaik
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Questions & Answers
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December 29, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from bjhamric | Reviewed this property |
I have contacted the Wheeler Wildlife center and they are closed right now. The message on the answering machine said they hoped to be open in a few days. I will repost report as soon as I make contact with the center.
Deborah L
October 3, 2015|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from MitchDees | Reviewed this property |
The visitors center is handicapped accessible. The pathways to the bird observation building are crushed granite pathways and would be accessible. The first floor of the bird observation building would be accessible, if you... More
Travel Forum Posts
Wheeler Wildlife Refuge around Christmas? (8 Replies)
We'll be in Decatur around January 1, has anybody been to the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge at that time of year? Are there many different birds to see then?
November 11, 2013|
Response fromAnum K|
yeah that great..