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Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, Juliette

4.2
#112 of 123 in Wildlife in Georgia
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge is a 35,000-acre (140 km2) National Wildlife Refuge established in 1939 and located in central Georgia. It is primarily an upland forest dominated by loblolly pine on the ridges with hardwoods found along the creek bottoms and in scattered upland coves. Clear streams and beaver ponds provide ideal wetland habitat for wood ducks and other wetland dependent species. In the early 19th century the European settlers arrived in abundance and began to clear the land to plant a variety of crops. The settlers removed more than 90% of the forest. The continuous planting of cotton caused serious erosion and soil infertility. By the late 1870s they had abandoned more than a third of the land because the land could not sustain crops.

With the combination of soil infertility, the boll weevil outbreak on remaining cotton and the Great Depression, there was wholesale abandonment of the barren eroded land in the 1930s. By then all the top soil had washed away, leaving the red clay subsoil exposed. The refuge was established from this worn out abandoned farm land where few wildlife species remained. With good soil and forest conservation practices, the wildlife habitat began to improve. Today, through the efforts of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the refuge is once again a forest.

The red-cockaded woodpecker, a native bird of the southern US, is an endangered species because the older age pine forests it requires for nesting and roosting have been cleared throughout most of its range. The refuge currently has 50 active family groups. Prescribed burning and thinning are two forest management practices used to provide habitat for the red-cockaded woodpecker. Many migratory bird species, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and other native wildlife benefit from these management practices. The diversity of habitats provides a haven for over 200 species of birds, including many species of neotropical songbirds, and 50 species of mammals.
It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge and many more Juliette attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Juliette visit planner.
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Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
8 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This park was a hot mess. There was a lack of directional signs. The map and site was extremely confusing. While the wildlife drive was open, it had recently been control burned. Some of the... 
    This park was a hot mess. There was a lack of directional signs. The map and site was extremely confusing. While the wildlife drive was open, it had recently been control burned. Some of the...  more »
  • A cold and cloudy March day was probably not the best time to visit but we were staying nearby at Indian springs State park. There is a visitor center and we picked up a brochure with a map. We... 
    A cold and cloudy March day was probably not the best time to visit but we were staying nearby at Indian springs State park. There is a visitor center and we picked up a brochure with a map. We...  more »
  • We went to the visitor center, varied hours opened, so look up hours. Got a drive map. We traveled well made gravel roads and paved roads through the park. The flat rocks at the river stop were very.....  more
    We went to the visitor center, varied hours opened, so look up hours. Got a drive map. We traveled well made gravel roads and paved roads through the park. The flat rocks at the river stop were very.....  more »
Google
  • Great limited availability quota deer and turkey hunts here. Paper application process is time consuming and risky if you try to mail in paperwork. Best bet is to visit in person to fill out application and deliver payment. Once you get in it is so worth it. Big bodied Georgia deer and opportunities to see the endangered red cockaded woodpeckers. With 35,000 acres adjacent to the Oconee National Forest there is plenty of space for any hunter who draws here.
  • A very underrated refuge that deserves your attention if you like birding, hiking, and the outdoors. 1 star off, because the trails were not maintained well at all, but some people prefer it that way I suppose.
  • These pictures were taken at the Allison Lake location, currently though it is overtaken by the seaweed type algae making it almost impossible to fish, we managed to catch 3 bass about 13 inches in remote sections of the pond but every one got caught up in the moss. The pulblic dock is completely un-fishable due to the seaweed/moss at this time.
  • Great visitor center with knowledgeable staff who are very familiar with the refuge and their passion for conservation comes through when they share information about the refuge. There are access roads and plenty of places to hike and explore. Highly recommend a visit here for an educational experience or taking a hike or run on the trails.
  • Beautiful and peaceful place to explore. Perfect daytime hike and retreat.

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