Are you visiting Hilton Head for the first time? Had enough of the beach? Looking for a place to unwind and appreciate nature, and perhaps bird watching?
Pickney Island National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina is a great place to do that. You can either bike or walk the refuge. You could even kayak around it if you like. Pets are not allowed and there are no restrooms so be prepared. There’s plenty to see and do for nature lovers.
As you enter you’ll walk thru the maritime forest which holds live oaks, palmetto and other trees. You’ll then run into salt marshes and tidal creeks as you can see fiddler crabs, wading and shore birds to either side of you. Next the trail leads to the Ibis Pond to the right which is my all time favorite. Here you’ll see a large concentration of White Ibis, Herons, and Egrets. You’ll also spot alligators and turtles. There’s also a beautiful butterfly garden nearby. This is a beautiful place to sit back and enjoy the low country. One can sit for hours watching all the birds fly in and occupy the trees. It is so neat to watch their behavior.
The trail continues beyond the Ibis pond. There’s a lot of bicyclist who enjoy the trail beyond the Ibis Pond as there are fewer people. Consider a mountain bicycle vs bringing a road bike as the trails are harder to maneuver.
It is definitely a very serene place to visit. And it’s free. I promise you if you enjoy nature or just bird watching, you’ll love this place!
The refuge is located 1/2 mile west of Hilton Head Island off of US Highway 278. It is bounded by Skull Creek on the east and Mackay Creek on the west.