National Wildlife Refuge
photo: Diana Churchillphoto: David Goekephoto: David E. Goekephoto: Ray Porter
Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is
part of the Savannah Coastal Refuges
Complex headquartered in Savannah,
Georgia. The complex includes seven
national wildlife refuges, totaling
56,949 acres, along a 100-mile stretch
of coastline in Georgia and South
Carolina. The seven refuges are
Pinckney Island and Tybee NWRs
in SC; Savannah (located in both
states along the Savannah River); and
Wassaw, Harris Neck, Blackbeard
Island, and Wolf Island NWRs in GA.
Savannah NWR lies in Chatham
and Efngham counties, Georgia
and Jasper County, South Carolina.
Location: the Savannah NWR
Visitor Center is located on U.S.
Highway 17, seven miles south of
Hardeeville, South Carolina and six
miles north of Savannah, Georgia.
The refuge lies on the lower
Savannah River between mile
markers 18 and 40. The port city of
Savannah, Georgia lies downstream
of the refuge.
There are over 38 miles of river
and 25 miles of streams and creeks
within the refuge boundaries.
Habitats include bottomland
hardwoods, palustrine, estuarine
and tidal (8ft. amplitude)
freshwater wetlands. Fringe area of
upland hardwoods exists along the
A 3,000-acre impoundment system
is actively managed for migratory
wading birds and waterfowl.
The Seaboard Coastline Railroad
has a 24-acre Right-of-Way
agreement with the Fish and
The refuge is home to a large
variety of wildlife including ducks,
geese, wading birds, shorebirds
and several endangered and/or
threatened species including wood
storks, manatees and shortnose
sturgeon. The refuge also provides
nesting areas for wood ducks, great
horned owls, bald eagles, osprey
and swallow-tailed kites among
Financial Impact of Refuge
Over 170,000 visitors annually.
Utilize refuge property as “a refuge
and breeding ground for native
birds and wild animals.”
Provide habitat and protection for
those species of plants and animals
whose survival is threatened or
Provide habitat and sanctuary for
migratory birds consistent with the
objectives of the Atlantic Flyway.
Maintain and enhance as needed
the habitats of all other species
of indigenous wildlife and shery
Manage furbearers, deer and
other upland game species so their
numbers will be compatible with
other wildlife management goals.
Promote wildlife education,
interpretation and recreational
opportunities to the visiting public.
Water level management on 3,000
acres for the benet of waterfowl,
wading birds, wood storks, swallow-
tailed kites and shorebirds.
Mechanical/chemical treatment of
Public hunting for deer and feral
Russ Webb, Refuge Manager
Jane Griess, Project Leader
c/o Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex
694 Beech Hill Lane
Hardeeville, SC 29927
Phone: 843/784 2468
Fax: 843/784 2465
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Public Use Opportunities
The four-mile Laurel Hill Wildlife
Drive is open to vehicle trafc
throughout the year.
Thirty-six miles of dikes are open
seasonally to foot and bicycle
Calendar of Events
All impoundments (pools)
open to shing March 1 to November
30 (designated areas are open all
year); feral hog hunting.
Migratory Bird Day.
National Wildlife Refuge
Week; youth archery deer hunting;
archery deer/hog hunting.
Gun hunt for deer,
squirrel and feral hogs; two-day
mobility-impaired deer hunt.
Christmas Bird Count;
youth waterfowl hunt
Questions and Answers
How do I get there?
From Savannah: From Savannah:
Take U.S. Highway 17 North across
the Talmadge Bridge into SC and
continue approximately six miles
to Savannah NWR Visitor Center
entrance on your left.”
From I-95: Take either SC Exit 5
(Hardeeville) U.S. Highway 17 South
towards Savannah or GA Exit 109
(Port Wentworth) GA Route 21 East
towards Savannah and follow signs to
Are there any costs associated with a
There are no fees charged to visit the
What can I expect to see?
During the spring and fall, you
will usually see many alligators
sunning themselves on the banks of
waterways, along with an assortment
of wading birds. During the winter
months, waterfowl and other
migratory birds are visible in the
Is there a visitor center?
Yes, there is a visitor center located
on U.S. Highway 17 approximately
six miles north of Savannah, GA and
seven miles south of Hardeeville, SC.
The visitor center is open Monday -
Saturday from 9 am - 4:30 pm and
offers an 11-minute video about the
refuge, a museum-quality exhibit hall
and a nature store operated by the
refuge Friends Group.
Are there any hunting and/or shing
Yes, shing is allowed year-round in
the creeks and rivers throughout the
refuge. Fishing is also allowed within
the impoundment system between
March 1 and November 30 of each
year. Bank shing from the Laurel Hill
Wildlife Drive is permitted all year.
Hunting is also permitted on the
refuge. The archery hunting season
for white-tailed deer and feral hogs
extends from October 1- 31 each
year. The rearm season for deer,
feral hogs and squirrel extends from
November 1- 30 of each year.
Designated areas are open to mobility-
impaired hunters for a quota hunt in
November. In March, a feral hog hunt
is open to gun hunters. During April
there is a turkey hunt. Waterfowl
hunting is permitted in designated
areas during state (Georgia and South
Carolina) seasons. A portion of the
refuge in Georgia is set aside for a
youth archery hunt and waterfowl
hunt. Alligator hunting, though
currently allowed in Georgia, is
prohibited within refuge boundaries.
For more information on refuge hunts
and to receive permit applications
for the quota hunts, please call the
headquarters ofce 843/784 2468
or visit our website (www.fws.gov/
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service