Wildlife Drive, "America's Best Restrooms," Trails and Tarpon Bay Explorers remain open despite government shutdown. SC file photo by Dorothy Wallace
Wildlife Drive, "America's Best Restrooms," Trails and Tarpon Bay Explorers remain open despite government shutdown. SC file photo by Dorothy Wallace

Due to the partial government shutdown, some of the J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge will be closed until further notice, including the "Ding" Darling Visitor & Education Center, Refuge Nature Store, and Administration Building.

All other federal lands will remain open, including:

  • Wildlife Drive (from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday-Thursday, closed Fridays)

  • "America's Best Restrooms" outside the Visitor & Education Center (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday-Thursday)

  • Indigo Trail and Bailey Tract

The "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge office will remain open on the ground floor of the Administration Building, where there will be a temporary Nature Store.

Security at the Refuge

The Refuge will have limited and essential personnel on-site to protect life and property on public lands. Refuge law enforcement will be conducting routine patrols to secure the property. All associated facilities will reopen upon further notification.

Tarpon Bay Explorers

The recreation concession, Tarpon Bay Explorers, will remain open during the government shutdown. Therefore, all Tarpon Bay Explorers activities are available: all tours (tram, kayak, cruises, and standup paddleboard), fishing charters, recreational equipment rentals (kayaks, standup paddleboards, pontoons, bicycles), and the nature gift shop.

Visit dingdarlingsociety.org for up-to-the-minute information on operations during the government shutdown.