Hilton Head Nature Hilton Head Travel

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge – the Beautiful & Famous Park of Hilton Head Island

By on July 1, 2016

Blue Heron standing on a tree branch

Are you an animal lover? Are you a natural outdoorsman? If so, then Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge located near beautiful Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is the place for you! Hilton Head Island is known for its beautiful views of both the ocean and the marsh. Much of the swamp is within the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Refuge Facts

Pinckney Island is a 4,000+ acre refuge to wildlife, birds, and plant life. It was established in 1975 after it was donated to the Fish & Wildlife Service. Before that, in the early 1800’s, the refuge was part of the plantation of Major General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney.

The refuge is located approximately a half mile outside of lovely Hilton Head Island. The habitat of the refuge includes wildlife such as shorebirds, waterfowl, deer, alligators, herons, egrets, and raptors. There are many different land types on the island including forestland, salt marsh, brush land, and freshwater ponds.

Wildlife & Other Critters

There are many forms of wildlife to view within Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. Visiting the refuge is an excellent way to see nature on Hilton Head Island at her best. Whether it is an alligator, a bobcat, or a white ibis you catch a glimpse of, your time at the wildlife refuge will be entertaining, informational, and down to Earth. You can take a multitude of pictures as well as go fishing in the sanctuary. These are just a couple of the activities that are offered. Other leisurely activities include a two-mile walk around Ibis Pond as well as longer hikes to places like White Point where you will view gorgeous overlooks of the grandiose low country at its best. There are over fourteen miles of hiking and biking trails for the adventurer in you, and these trails provide access to all parts of the refuge.

The Buzz about Pollinators

Some of the most hard-working members of the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge are the pollinators. The pollinators consist of a variety of animals including bees, butterflies, bats, beetles, and hummingbirds to name a few. These creatures pollinate 75% of both our flowers and our food. Pollinators help the Hilton Head environment by carrying pollen to different plants and flowers as they bumble around looking for nectar. The pollen they get into from a flower gets transported via the pollinator to other plants and flowers causing fruits and vegetables to grow and flowers to grow and bloom.

Learning about the Environment

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge offers self-guided tours about how the refuge is managed and maintained as well as any history that is known regarding the sanctuary. National wildlife refuges are critical to the ecosystems of the area and the balance of the life within the refuges. One of the most important things a sanctuary teaches us is that of wildlife and nature. It is imperative that children learn the importance of refuges, ecosystems, habitats, and how too many animals and not enough natural resources can spell disaster.

So the next time you are near the Hilton Head Island area, be sure to stop by Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, especially if you are an animal lover or a natural outdoorsman. You will be glad you did!