Wildlife Viewing & Photography


Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing is excellent, especially during fall, winter, and spring, along the 4-mile Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive and adjacent hiking/bicycling trails. The American alligator is king here, with upwards of 25 individuals having been reported seen during one visit. Many species of wading and marsh birds can also be spotted here throughout the year. The trails adjacent to the Kingfisher Pond Recreation Area are great for watching woodland songbirds such as prothonotary warblers and American redstarts during spring and fall migrations. Summertime brings in purple gallinules in the managed impoundments and swallow-tailed kites soaring in the sky; both species nest on the refuge.


Perhaps the fastest growing activity on National Wildlife Refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography. That’s not surprising when you consider the popularity of digital cameras and cell phones with ever-improving picture-taking abilities. The number of nature photographers has grown at a rapid rate. You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment or have any experience to get started. A small camera or basic cell phone will do just fine for most visitors.

The Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive affords photographers of all skill levels excellent opportunities to photograph wildlife, especially American alligators and a variety of different wading birds. Visitors may also utilize the photo blind located along the Cistern Trail. Friends of the Savannah Coastal Wildlife Refuges hosts an amateur photography contest in the fall, offering prizes in a number of different categories for both children and adults.