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Plan Your Visit

Blackbeard Island NWR provides numerous recreation opportunities to thousands of visitors every year. People enjoy viewing the unique habitat types and diverse wildlife, whether boating, bicycling, or hiking. Regulation of recreation activities allow for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting the natural resources.

The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week, unless otherwise posted. Access to the refuge is by boat only, and the Fish and Wildlife Service does not provide transportation. Visitors must use their own boat or make arrangements with a local boat captain or charter service. Most visitors who bring their own boats anchor off the beach. The government dock located on Blackbeard Creek may only be used for loading and unloading of passengers and gear; mooring for an extended period of time is not allowed.

Boater Caution: Coastal waters are subject to extreme tidal fluctuations of six feet. All boaters should be familiar with the tide tables, and monitor coastal weather conditions before navigating to any Georgia barrier island.

Hiking is allowed in all areas open to the public; however, visitors are advised to stay on marked trails at all times. Bicycling is also allowed on marked trails with the exception of the Wilderness Area where no mechanized equipment is permitted. Please avoid any areas marked with "Area Closed" signs to minimize disturbance to plants and animals. Wildlife observation and photography are encouraged.

Saltwater fishing is permitted year-round in the estuarine waters adjacent to the refuge. Bank/beach fishing into estuarine waters is permitted only from sunrise to sunset (except during managed hunts when refuge is closed to the non-hunting public). Freshwater fishing is prohibited, and all saltwater fishing is subject to state fishing regulations.

The refuge annually hosts two, 3-day archery hunts for deer; one in October, the other in December. These are open hunts; however, hunters must purchase a $25 annual refuge hunt permit in order to participate.  Click here for more detailed information on hunting.

Firearms and other weapons are subject to state law. At all times, persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on the refuge must comply with all provisions of state law. Firearms may only be discharged in accordance with refuge hunting regulations, i.e., only during the lawful pursuit of game during legal seasons.

Other prohibitions on the refuge are pets (including leashed dogs); off-road vehicles; and collecting of plants, animals, minerals, antlers and artifacts.

For questions, please contact the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex headquarters, located at the Savannah NWR Visitor Center, at (843) 784-2468.
Last Updated: Apr 12, 2017
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