Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Hiking Trails
Looking for a fun place to hike with a pretty view? The Savannah NWR is the perfect spot!
Jasper County’s Savannah National Wildlife Refuge consists of 31,551 acres of freshwater marshes, tidal rivers and creeks, and bottomland hardwoods. Well-maintained hiking trails wind throughout the refuge, giving hikers and bikers access to these former rice fields. Explore the nearly 40 miles of trails that are built on dikes that contained rice fields dating back to the early 1700’s.
The freshwater impoundments of the wildlife refuge are managed for migratory waterfowl and provide excellent wildlife observation points. All dikes are open to foot and bicycle travel during daylight hours, unless otherwise posted. Waterfowl are most abundant from November through February, while alligators and other reptiles are frequently seen from March through October.
Bird watching opportunities are good all year but are best from October through April when temperatures are mild, and many species of waterfowl and other wintering birds are present. The trails are primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching. The trails offer several activity options and are accessible year-round.
Motorists are welcome on the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, off S.C. 170, which meanders along four miles of earthen dikes through managed freshwater pools and hardwood hammocks. Many hiking and biking trails are accessible from this drive.
The Kingfisher Loop and Tupelo Trail is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail that features beautiful wildflowers and is good for all skill levels.
The Little Back River Trail is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail features a lake and is good for all skill levels.
Recess Plantation Trail is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail featuring beautiful wildflowers and is good for all skill levels.
The Cistern Trail/Photo Blind is located along the Lauren Hill Wildlife Drive. It is a great spot to capture wildlife photos.
Plantation Island Trail is a 2.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail featuring beautiful wildflowers and is good for all skill levels. This small island of trees was formerly a slave community. It was once surrounded by rice fields. The cistern is still visible. It was used to collect drinking water and store perishable foods.
Raccoon Trail is a 2.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail that features a river and is good for all skill levels.
The Savannah NWR Visitor Center is located on U.S. 17, seven miles north of downtown Savannah, Georgia or seven miles south of I-95 at Hardeeville, South Carolina.
Beech Hill Trail is a 0.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near the Visitor’s Center that features beautiful wildflowers and is good for all skill levels.
The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is located at
694 Beech Hill Lane, just outside Hardeeville. The Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive is located on GA-25/SC-170.
For more information on this and other Lowcountry nature-based tourism spots, visit https://southcarolinalowcountry.com/wildlife-preserves-and-nature-trails/,