Frequently Asked Questions about Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge


 

 


How do I get to Carolina Sandhills NWR? 

Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge is located approximately 70 miles northeast of Columbia, South Carolina, and 75 miles southeast of Charlotte, North Carolina. The main entrance is on US Highway 1, about 4 miles northeast from the small town of McBee, South Carolina. The nearest larger town with full services is Hartsville, SC. For more about Hartsville and the surrounding area, you can check their website

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 Is there a cost to enter the refuge, and what are the hours of operation?  

Access to Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge is free of charge, and is open year-round from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset.

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Are there picnic and camping facilities at Carolina Sandhills? 

The picnic facilities are located on Highway 145 at Bee Lake, which bisects the refuge. Lake Bee is about 8 miles down Visitors Drive away from the refuge headquarters. At the picnic area, you'll find shelters and restrooms. Restrooms are closed during the winter months. Camping is not permitted on the refuge but is available at Sugarloaf Mountain on the Sand Hills State Forest.

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Are there nature trails or hikes I can take?  

There are several hiking trails, including the Woodland Pond Trail (half hour to 45 minutes walking time) and Tate's Trail (about 3.5 miles long). See the Visitor Activities page for more information. 
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What wildlife am I likely to see at Carolina Sandhills?  

Many of the program activities here - including research, prescribed burning, translocating, and artificial cavity installation - are aimed at creating and maintaining optimum habitat conditions and aiding in recovery efforts for the red-cockaded woodpecker. On the refuge, you'll find many other birds, including Bachman's sparrow, wood ducks, and many more.

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Can I bring a group of students to the refuge?  

We conduct environmental education programs throughout the year for school children, civic organizations, and the general public, and we would be happy to host your group at our refuge. Please contact the refuge office at (843) 335-8401, or e-mail us at carolinasandhills@fws.gov to make arrangements for your group.

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Are there opportunities for off-road ATV use?  

In order to lessen the impacts to the wildlife and habitat, the use of off-road vehicles/ATVs is prohibited anywhere on the refuge. Some special permits are allowed during hunting season for disabled hunters. See the Visitor Activities page for more information. 

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Are hunting and fishing allowed on refuge property?  

Both hunting and fishing are allowed at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge during certain times of each season. Download our regulation brochures for both hunting and fishing.

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I'd like to volunteer at the refuge...are there any opportunities?  

The refuge always needs volunteer assistance with various programs, including trail maintenance, interpretive programs, and wildlife surveys and censuses. Please contact the refuge office at (843) 335-8401, or e-mail us at carolinasandhills@fws.gov for more information.

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