Savannah National Wildlife Refuge
Savannah NWR is one of more than 550 national wildlife refuges located throughout the United States.
The nearly 30,000-acre refuge is home to bald eagles, neo-tropical migratory songbirds, large concentrations of wading birds and wintering ducks and American alligators.
“The Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive meanders along four miles of the earthen dikes through managed freshwater pools and hardwood hammocks,” according to sherpaguides.com.
The visitor center is open from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and closed Sundays and all federal holidays.
Savannah National Wildlife Refuge reopened the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive on Friday. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency administering the Freshwater Diversion Canal repair project, has completed the work associated with refuge lands south of S.C. Highway 170, which includes the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive.
In the past year, the ACOE replaced water-control structures installed as mitigation for the 1977 Savannah Harbor deepening project.
The Freshwater Diversion Canal and its associated structures allow freshwater to enter the refuge’s 6,000-acre managed impoundment system further north of the mouth of the Savannah River, where the salinity level has not yet been affected by saltwater intrusion caused by deepening the harbor.
Contractors will continue to work on the final phase of the project, restoring water-control structures on the north side of S.C. Highway 170.
During this phase, there will be limited public access (hiking, bicycling, fishing, etc.). Visitors are encouraged to contact the Savannah NWR Visitor Center for details prior to visiting.
Completion of the project is expected by October.
Updates on the project and any associated trail/facility closures will continue to be posted on the refuge website at www.fws.gov/savannah.
Visitors also can call 843-784-2468 or stop by the Savannah NWR Visitor Center for more information.