- Wheeler NWR is located on the middle third of Wheeler Reservoir, in the Tennessee River Valley of Northern Alabama.
Wheeler Refuge supports the southernmost and Alabama's only significant concentration of wintering Canada geese. It also serves as winter habitat for the State's largest duck population.
Located in an urban area Wheeler Refuge has a large public use and environmental education program.
Recreation - Recreational activities at the refuge include a visitor center with class room, conference room, interpretive exhibits and auditorium, a wildlife observation building and environmental education programs. There are five interpretive foot trails to provide information on the local ecology. Fishing and hunting is available with certain restrictions. as well as boating, hiking, bicycling, photography, handicap accessible fishing pier and handicap accessible hunting.
From November through February, thousands of ducks and geese use the display pool adjacent to the building. Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the blooming flowers in the backyard wildlife area during spring, summer, and fall months. The refuge offers five hiking trails ranging in length from 200 yards to 2 miles.
Improved boat launching ramps are located at Hickory Hills, Bluff City,
Cotaco Creek, and Talucah Landing on the south side of the Tennessee
River and Arrowhead Landing and Triana on the north side. Bank fishing is prohibited around the shoreline of the Refuge headquarters and housing units. Bank fishing opportunities also exist.
Climate - The climate of Alabama's lowlands can be described as subtropical with nearly 60 inches of rain each year. The highest amount of rain reaches the region as afternoon thunderstorms in July, August and September. Summers are extremely hot and humid with temperatures frequently reaching above 100 degrees F. Summer nights cool slightly and provide a good time to travel through the region.
Winter temperatures are mild, rarely dipping below 40 degrees with the humidity level at its lowest in November and December. Spring and fall are very pleasant times to visit the region. Spring brings mild temperatures and blooming trees and flowers. During the fall temperatures range from 65 to 85 degrees F with low humidity levels. Northern Alabama is generally cooler than the south due to its higher elevations.
The refuge is located between Decatur and Huntsville in the Tennessee River Valley of northern Alabama.