Savannah National Wildlife Refuge [694 Beech Hill Ln, Hardeeville, SC 29927] isn’t in Savannah, Georgia! You are still in South Carolina, but it is close enough to the Georgia border that the city of Savannah is just over ten minutes away.
By the time we had made it to the refuge, we were exhausted. It had been a long day road tripping from Charleston to Savannah. We had already hiked that day at another national wildlife refuge and stopped at many places along the way. However, it was still early enough to visit, so I felt we needed to push it a bit more! I am so glad that we went the extra mile, and it turned out to be perfect for us. We have noticed at certain national wildlife refuges there are scenic drives, where you can get out if you please and hike, or just take in the view. We were more than happy with our experience driving on the four-mile Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, only getting out for brief walks. You can take it as fast or slow as you want, while respecting the speed limit of course.
As we entered the loop the landscape was beautiful. The freshwater marsh stretched as far as the eye could see, with canals which were cultivated during the rice culture era.
We tuned our radio to the proper station as directed and listened to the tidbits at all of the stops. All of the sudden we spotted our first gator! The ones in Savannah NWR were on average a whole lot bigger than everywhere else we visited.
They were whoppers for sure, but looked quite content and mellow on and around the banks of the water. We continued on and now everywhere we looked we saw gators, there are so many in this park. We drove through a patch of gorgeous Spanish moss draped oaks, different from the rest of the drive.
Nearby there was a very short trail leading to a bird blind, so we decided we could handle getting out of the car for that. The birds around the park are plentiful, at the bird blind, and all over. Catbirds, egrets, teals, and red wing blackbirds just to name a few, the whole spectrum was spoken for.
Our last stop along the coast was a wild success. While we adored South Carolina we were finally ready to cross the border into Georgia!