South Carolina Wildlife Refuges

Incredible. Wonderful. Beautiful... And wild.

South Carolina River WildlifeYou may not know that there are more than 20 South Carolina wildlife refuges, or that many are recognized as some of the finest in the nation. These diverse refuges seek to protect South Carolina river wildlife, mixed hardwoods, mixed pine-hardwood, pine plantations, marsh, croplands, old fields, ponds, impoundments and open waters located throughout the Palmetto State.

South Carolina wildlife refuges also seek to provide habitat for migratory waterfowl and provide protection for endangered and threatened species including the bald eagle, red wolves, the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, American alligator and other South Carolina river wildlife.

During the winter months, the bald eagle and even the endangered peregrine falcon can be seen. From November through February migrating waterfowl such as mallards, pintails, teal and wood ducks along with Canada geese are frequent flyers. Throughout the year red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks can be viewed soaring overhead, as can a variety of songbirds in the trees, and wild turkey in the underbrush. 

For casual sightseers some of the forests also provide a home for white-tailed deer and other woodland creatures such as raccoons, squirrels and bobcats. The ponds and marshes provide a home for South Carolina river wildlife such as alligators, not to mention a number of other reptiles and amphibians.

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Hatcher Garden & Woodland Preserve
This 10-acre public garden features a series of ponds, walking trails, and an abundance of perennials and shrubs. The garden also has two quarter-mile paved paths that are wheel chair...
Hobcaw Barony
Once home to the Waccamaw Indians, this Colonial land grant was divided into 14 plantations by 1865. With the decline of the rice cultivation, Hobcaw was bought by Bernard M....
Jack D. Bayless Hatchery and St Stephen Fish Lift - Dennis Wildlife Center
This complex serves as a regional center for wildlife and freshwater fisheries research and management. There are two components to this complex - the Jack D. Bayless Hatchery and the...
Lewis Ocean Bays Heritage Preserve
At least 20 Carolina bays are found on this 9,393-acre preserve, which provides habitat for Venus flytrap, yellow pitcher plants, native orchids, black bear, bald eagles, and red-cockaded woodpeckers. The...
Little Pee Dee Heritage Preserve
This preserve is best explored in a canoe or kayak. Floodplain forests and oxbow lakes characterize the four tracts of this state preserve, which protects about 9,000 acres of forestland...
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
This world-famous plantation has been associated with the Drayton family since its founding in 1676. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it includes the country\'s oldest garden (c.1680),...
Middleton Place
An 18th-century rice plantation and National Historic Landmark comprising America’s oldest landscaped Gardens, the Middleton Place House Museum and the Plantation Stableyards. The Gardens reflect the elegant symmetry of 17th...
Pinckney Island Wildlife Refuge
Established in 1975, this property once included in the plantation of Major General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, a prominent lawyer active in South Carolina politics 1801-1815. The 4,053-acre refuge includes Pinckney...
Pritchards Island & Center For Coastal Ecology
Owned by the University of South Carolina Beaufort, Pritchards Island is a remote barrier island located between Hilton Head and Hunting Island State Park. Accessible only by boat, overnight visitors...
Santee Coastal Reserve
This 24,000-acre reserve is a Wildlife Management Area that includes two barrier islands accessible only by boat, four trails and a boardwalk into a freshwater swamp.

The Bike/Hiking Trail is...

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