Wildlife Observation and Photography
All dikes are open to foot travel during daylight hours, unless otherwise posted, and provide excellent wildlife observation points. Waterfowl are most abundant from November through February, while alligators and other reptiles are frequently seen from March through October. Birdwatching opportunities are good all year but are best from October through April when temperatures are mild and many species of waterfowl and other wintering birds are present.
Motorists are welcome on the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, off SC 170, which meanders along four miles of earthen dikes through managed freshwater pools and hardwood hammocks. The Cistern Trail and other walking routes are also available to the visiting public. From December 1 to February 28, entry into the impoundment area north of SC 170 is prohibited to reduce disturbance while wintering waterfowl numbers are at a peak.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
Environmental education programs and interpretive tours are available for school, civic and conservation groups by appointment only. These tours are generally given by trained refuge volunteers and therefore require a minimum of two-weeks notice. Interested parties should also be prepared to have alternative, acceptable tour dates. For further information or to schedule a program or tour, please contact the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex headquarters at (912) 652-4415.
Guided interpretive tours for individuals and families can also be arranged through our special use permit holders (fees may apply.) These are private, commercial or non-profit organizations that maintain a permit with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to conduct business on the refuge. Click here for a list of authorized interpretive tour guides.