Wildlife Drive Open Saturday 7/25 and Sunday 7/26

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CLOSURE UPDATE 7/24/2020:  Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive will be open Saturday 7/25 and Sunday 7/26 from sunrise to sunset.  The drive remains closed Friday 7/24 and will close again Monday 7/27 and remain closed until further notice.  We will continue to notify visitors week to week if we will be able to safely open the wildlife drive on weekends/holidays.  

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT SCDOT HAS PLACED BARRICADES AT THE JUNCTION OF U.S. 17 AND SC 170 WEST DUE TO THE TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF THE HOULIHAN BRIDGE.  THE WILDLIFE DRIVE CANNOT CURRENTLY BE ACCESSED FROM GA 25/SC 170, COMING FROM PORT WENTWORTH, AND THE TURN OFF ONTO SC 170 WEST FROM U.S. 17 SOUTHBOUND (COMING FROM HARDEEVILLE) IS COMPLETELY BLOCKED. THE ONLY ACCESS IS FROM THE TURN JUST SOUTH OF THE INTERSECTION OF U.S. 17 AND SC 170 WEST. IN PAST BRIDGE CLOSURES, SC LAW ENFORCEMENT HAVE NOT HAD A PROBLEM WITH REFUGE VISITORS DRIVING AROUND BARRICADES TO ACCESS THE WILDLIFE DRIVE; PLEASE USE CAUTION.

As a reminder, when the wildlife drive is closed, this means that it is closed to all vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.  Throughout the closure periods, the trails north of SC 170 (north of the wildlife drive) and Kingfisher Pond will continue to be open for hiking, biking, birding, etc.

The wildlife drive closures are necessary to allow construction crews contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to repair a primary water control structure (part of the refuge's freshwater diversion system) that was destroyed during Tropical Storm Irma.  The repair of this structure is vital to restoring the refuge's ability control water within the 3,000-acre impoundment system, which provides important habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Please check our Facebook page (and "like" it to have it show up in your newsfeed) for the most current updates.  We sincerely appreciate your patience as we work through these vital repairs.