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“Great location for wading birds”

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge
Ranked #77 of 220 things to do in Savannah
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This site's 2,765 acres consist of saltwater marshes and opportunities for a variety of activities including hiking, fishing, hunting and bicycling.
Reviewed August 10, 2014

If you are interested in wading birds or birding, this is a "must visit" location.

On a recent trip to the area I made two visits to the refuge - and would have stayed longer if time permitted. There were hundreds of adult and juvenile wood storks, tricolored herons, great egrets, snowy egrets, and white ibis along with many other good birds such as greater and lesser yellowlegs, common gallinules, night herons, green herons, sandpipers, etc. Beyond birds, there are lots of alligators, dragonflies, and spiders. During spring and summer, the area is a huge rookery. Viewing is very good with binoculars or a scope. Photography is better with long lenses.

Habitat is varied. The land was a 1940 era military airport and you still see extensive remains of old asphalt runways. There are a number of manmade ponds ranging from big ones like Woody Pond to small ones like Snipe Pond or Teal Pond. Each has its own habitat and unique residents. The ponds are all accessible with a short walk and several can be viewed from the car. Most ponds have earth dams that are raised and mowed for easy walking. Wide trails are adequately mowed and maintained.

For photographers, this is a must visit location with easy access. The number of birds is equal or greater to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. The distances are greater and photography of nests is a challenge. That leads to nice environmental photos of birds and lots of birds in flight.

2  Thank ericAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 - 41 of 75 reviews

Reviewed July 25, 2014

We got tired of looking at old buildings in Savannah (you can see most of the sights in a couple of days) and were really ready for something NOT man-made, when a photographer at a local studio recommended this reserve. Most people were traveling through in their cars to see the alligators, but we saw photos of the Wood Storks that nest here! They are amazing and we plan on returning in the spring to see this!

1  Thank Kathy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2014 via mobile

My daughter and I moved here recently from Central NY. I always do my research before we adventure out or spend any money. With that being said, the 3-4 mile drive around the Refuge was nice. As other people have stated in their reviews, there is a walk to most of the ponds. We didn't mind because we planned on making it a whole day excursion. The white birds were at every pond we went to and "holy cow" are they loud. We also saw turtles, a couple fish swimming in the ponds.

Nearing the end of our adventure, my daughter spotted an alligator. Just as we were getting ready to leave my daughter spotted another alligator. We decided to get out and take some pictures. My daughter started making baby alligator noises and to both of our amazement the alligators swam over to the bank where we were standing. In about 5 minutes we had 7 baby alligators hanging around the bank in front of us.

We came across another trail and found that it lead to a very small beachy area. It must have been low tide because there were like hundreds of fiddler crabs. My daughter caught a couple of them and showed me the difference between the male and females. We picked up shells and even let the mud squish between our toes (I wasn't thrilled with that part but my daughter insisted.)

We didn't experience any bugs whatsoever, so I have to say our homemade bug repellant works excellent.

The only negative part was @ the end of the park exit. We stopped to walk out on the pier because we saw people fishing and thought they might be fishing. To our surprise they were a bunch of teenagers that had been swimming in the water nearby. They had a bunch of floatation devices scattered around like it was their home. The things they were saying and the language was enough for us to call it a day and head home.

But it was the best day we have had since we moved here. We are hoping to have many more.

3  Thank Mooselvr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2014 via mobile

Drove by here on our way south. Not much to see if you want to stay in the car. Most ponds you need to hike a little ways to see. There were lots of birds, some nesting. It's hot in the summer so bring lots of water and bug spray and be prepared to do some walking if you want to see something other than trees.

1  Thank Jtthjones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2014

My husband and I began a quest to discover what was in "our own backyard" and fund this wonderful place not too far from where we live. It is the first drive through park that I have encountered. You don't have to get out of your car if you don't want to(we did) or can't due to health problems. Both my Mother and dad were aging and found walking more difficult as time goes by. We got up early one Saturday morning and took my parents down the Liberty Trail and this was next to the Smallest church. They loved it! It was Spring and everything was just beautiful. That first time was 4 years ago and my mom has since passed but my dad wanted to see it after we ate at their favorite place nearby at Pelican Point for an early Father's Day Dinner this year(June 14, 2014)

2  Thank MariefromGeorgia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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