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South Carolina > South Carolina National Wildlife Refuges > Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
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Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

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Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Description - Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1975 and open to the public in 1985. Pinckney Island is the largest of four islands in the refuge, and the only one open to the public. Pinckney Island NWR is one of seven different refuges comprising the Savannah Coastal Complex of Refuges.

Large concentrations of white ibis, herons and egrets occur on the refuge. Wading bird rookeries and osprey nests can be found on the island. Two of the island's freshwater ponds were ranked in the top twenty wading bird colony sites of the South Carolina Coastal Plain during 1989 and 1996. Waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors and neotropical migrants are commonly seen on the refuge. An active bald eagle nest is within 5 air miles of the refuge. Consequently, bald eagles are not an uncommon sight. Management focuses primarily on wading birds.

Recreation - Public Use Opportunities: hiking and biking trails, wildlife observation, photography, a 1-day deer hunt.

Climate - South Carolina generally has a temperate climate, with cool winters and warm, humid summers. Snow and freezing temperatures are possible in the winter at the higher elevations. Thunderstorms are possible throughout the year but most common in the spring and summer. Tropical storms occasionally strike the coast during the hurricane season.

Location - The refuge entrance is 1/2 mile west of Hilton Head Island, SC off of U.S. Highway 278. The island lies between Skull Creek (the Inter coastal Waterway) and Mackay Creek. The island's northern tip faces Port Royal Sound.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Richard Johnson (Rock Hill, SC)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This is one of the most enjoyable day hikes in South Carolina. The scenery is fantastic, the chances of seeing a wide variety of wildlife is excellent, and the solitude is wonderful. I have hiked this area in all seasons, and, I have to admit that fall and winter are my favorite seasons; no mosquitoes, and very few tourists. This hike should be way up on your list of day hikes!

More Information

Contact Information:
Savannah Costal Refuges, 1000 Business Center Dr., Suite 10 Parkway Business Center , Savannah, GA, 31405, Phone: 912-652-4415, Fax: 912-652-4385

Additional Information:
Lowcountry Region - The Lowcountry Region of South Carolina includes the Atlantic coast and the coastal plain. It covers the area south and east from Sumter.
South Carolina National Wildlife Refuges - The National Wildlife Refuges in South Carolina are located in the eastern half of the state, mostly along or near the coast.

Pinckney Island NWR - Official agency website


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