Viera North, 10001 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, FL 32940
Also called the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands, the Viera Wetlands is one of the older wetlands parks in Florida.
Situated between wall-to-wall subdivisions and farms along the floodplain of the St. Johns River, this 200-acre park is modeled after Orlando Wetlands Park.
It is made up of a series of ponds of varying depths through which treated wastewater flows to clean it naturally before the water seeps out into the St. Johns floodplain.
Viera wetlands is located north of central Melbourne Florida in Brevard County. It is a wide-open space with extraordinarily little shade (in other words – none). In the late fall to early spring there is a wide variety of birds, and of course your obligatory alligators and turtles etc. The resident birds are very used to seeing people, the great herons strut along almost close enough to pet them, do not for your own safety.
Also, a little bit north and adjacent to the actual Viera wetlands is an area that is also quite open and has quite a few birds, Sometimes the side dirt roads are blocked off sometimes not, but you can drive over there. We saw Sandhill Cranes walking about with their chicks.
Viera wetlands is highly recommended for the diversity of birds from migrating ducks to the resident Florida birds, spoonbills, herons, cranes, and the occasional wood stork. Of course, you also have a share of raptors from Eagles, Hawks, Osprey, Cara Caras and Terns etc.