Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1938 as a haven for great white herons, migratory birds, and other wildlife. The refuge is located in the lower Florida Keys and consists of almost 200,000 acres of open water and islands that are north of the primary Keys from Marathon to Key West. The islands account for approximately 7,600 acres and are primarily mangroves with some of the larger islands containing pine rockland and tropical hardwood hammock habitats. This vast wilderness area, known locally as the “backcountry,
Kyaking the flats and spotting Tarpon, Shark, Rays, Dolphins further out, and the dozens of other fish and sea creatures up close and personal is spellbinding. A magnificent way to kill a day. Then go back and walk in the footsteps of Hemingway and Harrison!