Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge was established on July 7, 1938 by Executive Order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt as the first National Wildlife Refuge placed on a multi-purpose reservoir to provide habitat for wintering and migrating birds. Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge consists of 35,000 acres and stretches for 20 miles along both sides of the Tennessee River. It attracts thousands of wintering waterfowl each year and is home to Alabama’s largest wintering duck population. The Refuge also supports the state’s largest concentration of Sandhill Cranes and the endangered Whooping Crane.
Most of the Refuge's waters are open year-round for fishing and boating. Additional year-round activities include wildlife viewing, hiking, photography, bicycling and horseback riding. Public hunting on the Refuge is permitted on approximately 18,000 acres during specific hunt seasons.
How to Get There
From I-65 take exit 334 (Decatur/Priceville) and go north on Highway 67 for 3 miles. Visitor Center entrance will be on the left. The headquarters entrance is a quarter mile pass visitor center entrance and will be on the right.
From Highway 31 turn onto Highway 67 south for 2 miles. Headquarters entrance will be on the left. The visitor center entrance is a quarter mile pass headquarters and will be on the right.
From Highway Alt. 72 take Highway 67 south (Beltline Road) and follow it all the way through Decatur. After crossing the Highway 31 intersection, the visitor center will be 2.5 miles on the right.