The Savannah, Georgia Wildlife Refuge, with its entrance ironically in the state of South Carolina, is a destination for people to catch a glimpse of local animals up close and personal. Here you have the opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse of the low country between the freshwater ponds, marshlands, and maritime forests. Whether exploring by foot or by car, the refuge has a sight to see for people of all ages. Here is what you need to know when visiting Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. 

Where is The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Located

The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge sits between coastal Georgia and South Carolina. 

Visitors and residents staying in South Carolina and Georgia explore what the refuge offers. Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head, South Carolina are the two nearest points of interest. 

Interestingly enough, the entrance is located in South Carolina compared to Savannah, in which it is named.

The entrance is off of Speedway Boulevard near the intersection of Alligator Alley in Hardeeville, South Carolina. Here you will find a welcome center in addition to ample parking. It operates from sunrise until sunset 365 days per year when visiting the refuge. 

What type of Wildlife Is At The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

The refuge is home to an abundance of wildlife for visitors to enjoy while driving through or hiking trails. 

When visiting, the list of wildlife includes migratory and residents birds, alligators, foxes, turtles, rabbits, coyotes, armadillos, opossums, squirrels, deer, rattlesnakes, bats, river otters, bobcats, butterflies, wild turkeys, and more. 

In addition to land-based wildlife, the refuge is home to saltwater rivers and marshes in addition to freshwater lakes. Here is a breakdown on the freshwater and saltwater fish that call the waters of the refuge home. 


The freshwater fish within the refuge include largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, gar, catfish, and more. 


Anglers have the opportunity to catch sea trout, flounder, redfish, croaker, saltwater catfish, stingrays, and even sturgeon. 

Fishing is allowed in refuge between March 1st and November 30th. Remember to purchase a fishing license. The fishing license must be a freshwater and or saltwater fishing license, depending on the body of water. Most importantly, you must have a South Carolina permit compared to a Georgia license. 

What Can You Do At The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

One of the most exciting opportunities when visiting the refuge is setting out on foot to explore the wildlife that call the natural landscape home. 

The refuge offers nearly 20 miles of walking trails conveniently located based on where you parked.

Twenty miles seems like a minute number compared to the nearly 30,000 acres of property the refuge calls home. 

Car Tour

For those who are disabled or prefer to avoid the trails, you have the opportunity to remain in a personally owned air-conditioned or heated vehicle while checking out the sights and sounds of coastal Georgia and South Carolina.

Remain comfortable seated your car while venturing through a four-mile road that meanders along the Back River dividing Georgia and South Carolina and the East Marsh while tuning in to 1610 on your AM radio.

With the radio tuned in, become educated by the interpretive audion tour. Remember to remain up to speed to avoid holding up vehicles behind. 

Hiking Trails

Remain up on your feet and walk throught the designated trails in the Skidaway National Wildlife Refuge. 

The trails are evenly divided between the northern, central, and southern portions. In addition to the divide, bikers, hikers, and those who remain in a vehicle have the chance to catch up close and personal look at wild animals. 

Whether you are visiting or bringing friends, family, or others to the refuge, remember to remain clear of the salt and freshwater banks. Gators venture between both, and you do not want to fall victim to a hungry reptile. Keep an eye out for the eyes and snout peeking out from the surface of the water. 

The Next Time You’re In Savannah Or Hilton Head Check Out The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge 

We get that Savannah and Hilton Head have plenty of opportunities to remain occupied when visiting from out of town. The refuge is highly recommended because you get a first hand look at alligators, birds, and other species. Animals flock to the refuge because of the minimal amount of pressure applied when it comes to hunting. One of the most notable parks around the corner is Pinckney National Wildlife refuge. Pinckney is within close proximity compared to downtown Savannah, Georgia.