Visit the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

The Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, located near the bridge to Hilton Head Island, offers an ideal place to enjoy the natural beauty of the Lowcountry.

Once part of the plantation of Major General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, a prominent South Carolina attorney, from 1801 to 1815, this wildlife refuge features 14 miles of trails and an abundance of wildlife.

By James Earl (d. 1796) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

From 1937 to 1975, when it was donated to the Fish and Wildlife Service, Pinckney Island was privately owned and managed as a game preserve. Established in 1975, the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge features more than 4,000 acres of wild Lowcountry beauty, including Pinckney Island, Corn Island, Big Harry Island, Little Harry Island, Buzzard Island and numerous small hammocks.

Nearly 67% of the refuge consists of salt marsh and tidal creeks, which support a diversity of bird and plant life. Wildlife commonly observed on Pinckney Island includes waterfowl, shorebirds, bald eagles, wood storks, wading birds, raptors, neo-tropical migrants, white-tailed deer and American alligators, with large concentrations of white ibis, herons and egrets.

The refuge offers ideal opportunities for hiking, bicycling, photography and wildlife observation.

Suggested Hiking/Biking Trips:

All trips begin and end at the parking area located half a mile from the refuge entrance; distances are round-trip.

  • Ibis Pond: 1.2 miles
  • Shell Point: 4.6 miles
  • Starr Pond: 2 miles
  • Osprey Pond: 3 miles
  • Nini Chapin and Barker Ponds: 3.6 miles
  • Bull Point: 5 miles
  • Dick Point: 7.4 miles
  • Clubhouse Pond: 6.2 miles
  • White Point: 7.8 miles