Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

I mean, ten years ago I was banking on a future rich with baby dolls, hair bows, kittens and rainbows.  Yet, I spent my afternoon alligator hunting at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge.  No, it is not April Fools Day and no, I am not even kidding.  And the peculiar thing here is that I’m actually about to recommend this as a great way to spend a couple of hours in Savannah.  *gasp*  (Oh, and by “in” Savannah, I really  mean “near” Savannah seeing as it is across the South Carolina line.)

March 2014 438

The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of 29,000 acres of freshwater marshes, tidal rivers and creeks and bottomland hardwoods. The refuge is located in the heart of the Lowcountry, a band of low land, bordered on the west by sandhill ridges and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, extending from Georgetown, South Carolina to St. Mary’s, Georgia.  The region is home to a diverse wildlife population, including birds, ducks and alligators.  The latter of which was most interesting to my foolhardy crew.

We inched down the four mile trail, going about a mile before seeing anything of note.  But once we saw how the terrifying reptiles were camouflaging themselves, we started to see them everywhere.  Giant gators and baby gators and all sorts of in between sizes.  Keep in mind that this place is just nature – there is nothing to keep them from getting you if you get to close.  (Hence why we admired the beasts from the car.)

March 2014 443      March 2014 449     March 2014 454  March 2014 456      March 2014 462         March 2014 471    
There really is so much more than just gators to see, although they kind of steal the show.  For instance, our state flower, the Cherokee rose.  In my whole life I’ve never seen one in Georgia.  However, cross the state line to South Carolina and you can’t miss them.  Strange…

March 2014 442

The moss laden trees are just gorgeous.
 March 2014 452

And birds and ducks and turtles are plentiful.  There are even some incredible expanses of lily pads!

March 2014 466

It’s free to ride through and it’s open all week.  If you’re hunting gators, you really have to train your eye to see them.  They seemed to lurk just on the edge of the muddy brown waters.  Once you see a couple, you’ll start to see enough to kind of freak you out.  Mother had a keen eye for them and gave us lots of tips.  I never knew she knew so much about them…  Needless to say, the littles were completely enamored.  And a wee bit scared (which I’m thinking is a good thing.)

See ya later, alligator.

| Filed under Uncategorized | Tags:

8 thoughts on “Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

  1. We just arrived home from 10 days in the Lowcountry. I miss it already!

    We stayed at my mom's home in Sea Pines and there are gators in every pond. Makes for a fun bike ride with the kids. Have you ever taken your boys to hear Greg Russell in Harbour Town? He's playing there every night this week.

    My husband and I made a couple trips to Savannah for date nights and took your suggestions to dine at the Tybee Island Social Club and Local 11Ten. Both divine!!

    We even made a visit to One Fish Two Fish and Paris Market. Let's just say we had to leave our stroller at my mom's house to accommodate our purchases on the way home to Indiana.

    Thanks so much for the great tips and have a wonderful spring break!!


  2. I had no idea this place was there – yet again, something to add to my list (my boys would love this) for when we're down in May. At the rate we're going… we're gonna need more than a week! ;-) xo

  3. I bet they were all over that! Fun (at a distance). Come to think of it, I too have never seen a Cherokee rose here in GA!!! Glad you all enjoyed your vacation.

  4. Beautiful! I bet your littles were in heaven! I just visited my BFF in Texas. Upon starting a hike we paused to read the huge sign with directions on what to do when encountering a mountain lion or bear, as both had been recently spotted in the park…sure put a different spin on our walk :). Enjoy the rest of your break!

  5. There is so much to see and do in Savannah and the surrounding area. My husband's family has Salzburger Roots and I hope to make it to the Ebenezer historic site in Effingham County to do some research the next time we are down that way. We plan to be in Savannah for a three day Savannah High Class of 1969 reunion in June. We will be so busy partying that I doubt we will even get to visit much with family, so I doubt I get to do any of my genealogy research. Maybe next time!!

  6. Chicken! :)

    We are from Houston and we have a similar place about 30 minutes away – Brazos Bend State Park – only there's no driving. It is walking only. And the trail is about 3 feet from the water's edge. It's not uncommon to come along a gator blocking the trail. Last time we went we got stuck with about 20 other folks between 2 gators and had no way to get past – it was water on both sides and just the trail to get by!

    Drives me crazy all the people that get too close to either the water's edge, or the gators along the edge. Especially little kids (aka perfect snack sized pieces!) Amazes me no one's been eaten.

Comments are closed.