Pinckney National Wildlife Refuge

Beaufort - Pinckney Island - bird in water

Driving on US278, heading onto Hilton Head Island, the turnoff to Pinckney NWR doesn’t look like much. I used to give it a, well, one day I’ll go, glance then drive on, usually heading to the Wal-Mart.
When I finally went stopped, it was like, what took me so long?
While the NWR consists of several islands, only the largest island, Pinckney is open for public use. It was established in 1975 after being donated to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Before that it was a game preserve and before that the islands were part of a sea island plantation owned by Major General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Nothing of the plantation exists today.
Over fifty percent of the refuge is made of tidal creeks and salt marshes and a fantastic place to bird watch and take some photos of the local birds including the white ibis and herons. There are plenty of other wildlife too.
There are nine recommended hikes around the island from the 1.2 mile round trip Ibis Pond to the 7.8 round trip White Point route. Or you can combine several shorter ones like I did.

I spent quite a bit of time at one of the ponds watching the birds. I’m not a birder per se, but I love watching them and taking pictures especially if I can get a good shot. The first lake as one comes from the parking lot is an especially nice one to bird watch. Close by is a butterfly garden, but at the time I went nothing was in bloom. That didn’t stop me from wandering through before wandering hither and yon and taking in the sights.

The above picture was taken at one of the tidal pools.

How to get there:
The refuge is located off US278 as it crosses the Intracoastal Waterway, a half mile from Hilton Head Island. From I-95 take exit 8 and drive towards Hilton Head.

Links:
Pinckney NWR

What’s Close By
Hilton Head Island
Bluffton
Savannah NWR

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