UPDATE: November 2019
Although the Refuge was closed in 2018 due to the partial government shut down, and we've had to overcome several obstacles caused by Hurricane Michael,
70% of the island was subject to overwash from the 17' plus storm surge
We lost both composting toilets, a dock, a floating dock and boat shed, plus some vehicles and equipment
The three primary roads used on wagon tours were all impassable due to water intrusion, wash-out, fallen trees and storm debris
We do have GREAT NEWS-- the calendar has been updated with our 2019-2020 schedule, through May 1 2019!
Thank you for your interest in the Refuge and we hope you'll visit soon.
Friends of St. Vincent NWR
Friends of St. Vincent NWR help facilitate the logistics for Refuge Tours. Staff and Volunteers from St. Vincent NWR provide transportation and guides.
Regular tours are offered throughout the Fall, Winter and Spring, typically once or twice a month. Sign up is first come first serve - If you cannot secure a seat on a wagon tour you may come to the Indian Pass boat ramp on the morning of a tour and sign up for a standby slot should we have space available.
Register today! Calendar and Sign Up
Keep in mind:
Tours are free but transportation to and from the island has a $10 per person (cash only) fee via a privately held company (St. Vincent Island Shuttle). In addition, you may wish to make a voluntary donation to the Friends.
All donations are much appreciated.
Reservations are required and numbers strictly limited. We ask that if you must cancel a reservation that you provide us with advance notice to open a space for others to sign up.
You may sign up to two individuals on one unique email address & you can use a separate email for others if needed.
You MUST be able to walk a decent distance
in soft sand. Please wear appropriate
clothing and bring your own water, bug spray and sunscreen.
You’ll receive a confirmation once you've registered; prior to the tour we'll send tour and logistic details.
Once you receive a registration confirmation, please plan to arrive at the Indian Pass boat ramp by 8:15 a.m. (Eastern time).
Tours may be cancelled due to adverse weather or sea conditions.
WAGON TOUR & GUIDED WALK FAQs
1. Where do the tours start?
The tours begin at the Indian Pass boat ramp at the end of SR 30B. The commercial shuttle boat takes visitors to the Refuge.
2. What do I need to bring?
Depending on the weather, wear closed toe shoes, long pants and a hat. Bring water, snacks, bug repellant, sunscreen and a small cushion to sit on. If it is cold, bring warm clothing .Wagon tour ride is on an open wagon. Binoculars and a camera are also good to have.
3. May I bring my pet?
No, pets are not allowed on the Refuge.
4. Is there much walking?
Each tour is slightly different. You must be able to enter and exit the shuttle boat and the tour wagon . Some tours include walks to the beach or along unpaved roads. There are some specified walking tours in the winter that will be 1-3 miles along
5. How long are the tours?
Visitors need to be at the boat ramp around 8:15 a.m. (Eastern time) and will be ferried to the Refuge six people at a time. Once everyone is on the Refuge, the wagon tours usually start around 9 Aa.m.and last until 1-2 p.m. , then the boat ride back to Indian Pass. The tour is usually about about 18 miles round trip on an open wagon with stadium style seating. Walking tours are about 2-3 hours.
6. Is the tour suitable for children?
We do not recommend the tour for very small children or babies.
7. Can a group take the tour?
Each tour has a limited number of spaces. If a group can register on line, you are welcome to do so. Please let us know if you have a group registered.
8. What facilities are on the Refuge?
There is no potable water on the Refuge, so bring your own water. We also ask that you pack out whatever you bring in as there are no waste removal facilities. There are no toilet facilities.
9. Can we stay and camp on the Refuge?
No, the Refuge is daylight use only. Camping is only allowed by registered hunters during limited hunts in the Fall.
10. How will I know if a tour is cancelled or rescheduled?
Twenty-four hours before the scheduled tour, the tour coordinator will decide if the tour will be cancelled or rescheduled, usually due to bad weather , prescibed burns or small craft warnings on the water. All registrants need to check their e-mail the night before the tour , as you will be notified if there is a cancellation.
The Friends of St. Vincent NWR are glad to have you visit. We hope you enjoy the tours.
For any other specific questions please contact us at email@example.com. Someone will get back with you within a week.