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“Great place for birding.”

Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands
Ranked #3 of 75 things to do in Melbourne
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Auburn, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Great place for birding.”
Reviewed March 13, 2014

Despite some bad reviews we went to this place and were not disappointed. The guy that said he only spent 15 min. was crazy - you can't even drive through in that time (speed limit is 10mph). He obviously is not a birder. We were there almost 2 hours and saw crested caracara, northern harriers, white pelicans, bitterens, anhinga, cormorants, little blue herons, great blue herons, tri colored herons, glossy and white ibis, snowy egrets, red shouldered hawk, great egret, yellow rumpled warblers, palm warblers, sandhill cranes, phoebe, savannah sparrows, blue winged teals, grebe, ring necked ducks, black crowned night heron, moorhens, coots, red winged blackbirds, kingfisher, green heron and an alligator catching and eating a moorhen. That's a pretty good bird day! We were there Feb. 28th around 3 pm. Most people just drive around, but you can bike or walk it. Everyone with sense goes the posted speed limit and makes frequent stops so be prepared. If you're walking off the road watch out for the fire ant nests. Don't forget your binoculars. There is an outhouse type facility at start of road.

Visited February 2014
4 Thank MadforMaui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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274 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Great place for bird watchers and photgraphers”
Reviewed March 9, 2014

The is a rich wetland created from the clear water holding ponds of the local water treatment plant, but don't that that deter you. It has been getting better and better every year, and if you want an easy place to see a great variety of Florida birds, this is it. While all the usual larger birds are there, its particularly good for seeing little green herons and occasionally night herons. Last visit we also saw a bittern, and white pelicans, and plenty of alligators ranging from small to huge. If you like nature, its well worth a visit.

Visited February 2014
2 Thank PeterFJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Viera, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Fast and Accesible”
Reviewed March 5, 2014

Small wetland area behind water treatment facility. Drive, bike or walk through. Great place for bird watching and photographing; and witnessing nesting as well. A wide array of bird species, but have seen otters, deer, snakes, and of course, alligators. Once walked upon three 8 footers sunning.

Visited March 2014
3 Thank TimZap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freeland, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
293 reviews
158 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“Well worth your time, if you like birds.”
Reviewed March 4, 2014

Free and lots of birds. Viera Wetlands are unpaved and one-way with a posted speed limit of 10 mph. The roadway is well maintained, and is used for walking, biking and driving. This is open to the public with varying times for opening and closing dependent on the time of year, so check their website or the following phone number: call (321) 255-4488 for up-to-date information. There is a wide variety of water birds and Alligators. A portable restroom is near the beginning, although you are less than 2 miles from fast foods if you need food or restroom facilities. This is a couple of miles off of I95; exit 191, just drive west on the main road, N. Wickham Road. This is well thought out and the one ways make you drive through several times to make all the loops but this keeps the traffic staggered and you are able to stop; exit your car with out getting in the way of other cars. We only had 1.5 hrs to spend here but you could easily stay longer as the ponds change birds randomly. Have fun!

Visited March 2014
4 Thank cyndywill8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hudson, FL
Level 6 Contributor
312 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 194 helpful votes
“The Afternoon of the White Pelican !”
Reviewed March 3, 2014

We had time to kill before we could check into our timeshare exchange on Satellite Beach last Saturday so we returned to the wetlands we enjoyed while visiting Cocoa Beach a year ago. I guess you never know exactly what you're going to find there. Last year we saw moor hens and coots. There were coots again this year but also dozens of white pelicans, perhaps resting during their migration, in the various ponds. It was quite a sight. We live on the west coast of Florida and see the brown pelican daily but rarely see white pelicans near our home. The great blue heron had nests on the top of some trees and I even saw a baby heron in one nest.

I guess you could say this attraction is handicapped accessible because it's not necessary to get out of your car. Actually, a car acts as a bird blind. You can, of course, pull off to the side of the very narrow road to get out, view the birds, take pictures and walk a bit. People in wheel chairs could enjoy this, too. There was a small alligator, about 4' long, lying in the sun just off the road. I saw some people walking their dogs. I'd advise keeping a small dog far from the marsh because alligators have been known to eat people's pets while walking them near a lake or river.

There is no fee for this attraction though there is a donation box at the head of the drive through. There is no indoor visitors center. Two portable toilets are available at the beginning of the roads, but no sink. A sign at the start of the drive explains the area. We will return there this week in the late afternoon when the light is good for taking pics. Remember to bring your binoculars and camera.

Visited March 2014
4 Thank Barbara V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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