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Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, Hardeeville

4.6
#32 of 92 in Wildlife in South Carolina
Wildlife Area Nature / Park
The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is a 29,175 acre National Wildlife Refuge located in Chatham and Effingham counties in Georgia and Jasper County in South Carolina. Of the total area, 14163acre is in Georgia and 15011acre is in South Carolina. The refuge was established to provide a nature and forest preserve for aesthetic and conservation purposes.The refuge is one of seven refuges administered by the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex in Savannah, Georgia. The complex has a combined staff of 31 with a fiscal year 2005 budget of $3,582,000.HistoryThe first European visitors to the Savannah, Georgia area arrived in 1526. James Oglethorpe established the city of Savannah in 1733. By the mid-eighteenth century, rice planters were farming much of the land that is now part of the refuge. The old rice levees, which were built by hand, form the basis for current impoundment dikes. Remnants of the original rice field trunk water control structures and narrow dikes are still visible in some places. Within the impoundment system there are 36 historic and prehistoric archeological sites which have been located and inventoried. On April 6, 1927, Executive Order No. 4626 established the Savannah River Bird Refuge and set aside 2352acre as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds. On November 12, 1931, Executive Order No. 5748 added 207acre to the refuge and renamed the area the Savannah River Wildlife Refuge. An additional 6527acre were assigned to the refuge on June 17, 1936, by Executive Order No. 7391. On July 30, 1940, Presidential Proclamation 2416 renamed the refuge the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
333 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We had visitors so decided to finally take a ride there, unfortunately on our way it started to rain heavily. We followed the trail and viewed a couple of gators -same in my pond- and frogs and that's...  more »
  • Nice place to visit, just a short drive from Savannah. This area both has walking trails and a 4 mile drive where you can look for alligators, birds, and other animals. We actually saw two alligators....  more »
  • My brother wanted to come here, so I was a sport and came along. Loop about a half hour out of Savannah. Drive through slowly and read the signs and look for the gators. Change from the historic distr...  more »
Google
  • Awesome place! You feel like you're in a different world. The wildlife you see there is unique and interesting. I highly recommend the driving tour for a good 2-3 hour adventure. We saw two American Alligators in the middle of the day. They say you see more in the early morning and evening if that's what you're going for. Only about 15 minutes from Savannah if you're in town.
  • Great place friendly staff very knowledgeable about the area if you go in one day and look for my buddy Rod he can tell you about everything around there I'm pretty sure. then take the drive down the street to go through the wildlife pretty sure you're going to see some Gators and some birds maybe a deer or two they have hiking trails so if you're an outdoor person this will be the place to go visit to see marshlands of the South
  • I was traveling in the area and looking for a park to spend the afternoon at. This place is beautiful. I saw several species of birds I don't usually set my eyes on and a baby Alligator. I didn't get to visit the welcome center, it was a holiday and therefore the building was closed, but on the other side of the park was another entrance with a self guided driving tour set up, and a place to pick up guidebooks and maps. I walked about a mile or two into the park from that side. This is a great place for a nature walk, or bike ride, or see the sights from your air conditioned car.
  • Please do yourself a huge favor and stop by either on your way to or from Savannah. Or if you're staying in the city make this small trip (10-15 minute drive) to the refuge. You will not regret it. We passed by here on our way to Savannah and decided to check it out on the way back. We stopped at the visitors center where they had clean bathrooms. The hostess kindly gave us a map and a pamphlet on animals commonly seen at the refuge. She let us know there are trails, but that if we drive down just a bit we can drive a 4 mile drive around the refuge and stop as we please. We opted for this. Wow wow wow. Not only is the land beautiful but you are guaranteed to see wildlife. We saw 13 alligators! Tons of birds. And if you're looking for that iconic Spanish moss Savannah picture, we'll you'll get it here. It took us about an hour to tour the whole 4 mile refuge, maybe a little longer. We stopped and got out to look at the wildlife. Bring your camera! There is also a Jurassic Park like feel to it because you tune your radio in to get a guided tour at a few check points. It's free, it's a must do. Go!
  • An absolute must!!! After speaking with a woman in the center we decided to take the wildlife drive. It was great! Tons of alligators. Bring a ton of bug spray if you want to get out of the car.

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