Wildlife Drive and other areas closed until further notice

The second of two projects announced in September 2019 is set to begin and will require the closure of all trails north and south of SC Hwy 170, including the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, beginning Wednesday, September 9, 2020 until further notice. Closed areas will be off-limits to all visitors (no foot, bicycle, or vehicle traffic).

With repairs to the diversion canal outflow structure near completion, the second and more extensive part of the overall repair and renovation of the refuge’s 3,000-acre freshwater impoundment system can now begin. Specific improvements include elevating all dikes/levees surrounding the impoundments, deepening the perimeter and interior ditches within the impoundments, and replacing water control structures. All of these measures are necessary to restore the impoundments to a healthier, more resilient state needed to continue to provide vital habitat for waterfowl and other birds, as well as all the other species that benefit from the impoundments. The elevated dikes and deeper ditches also will benefit the public by providing better wildlife viewing opportunities.

Visitors should expect closures for a period of not less than one year, and possibly two. We will provide updates as new information becomes available and keep you informed of the progress throughout the duration of project. Keep in mind there are many other areas on the refuge to enjoy such as Kingfisher Pond and adjacent trails, the Solomon Tract, and the Visitor Center trails. In addition, Pinckney Island and Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuges will be open for normal visitation.

Click here for a trail closure map

We ask that visitors be patient and remember that what we are doing is for the benefit of the wildlife and habitat we are mandated to protect. We consider you our partners in this important mission and greatly appreciate your continued patience and support.