5821 Hwy. 17N, Awendaw, South Carolina
Except for changes brought about by erosion, this area is virtually as it was in the days of the Sewee tribe, who fished and hunted here.
Most of the refuge’s 20-mile stretch of coast, barrier reef, salt marshes, and open water are inaccessible by land. Its remoteness makes this a most likely environment for the preservation of such endangered species as loggerhead turtles that nest here. The bird list available at the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center includes 262 species, plus 76 that are considered rare. The greatest population here is during the spring and fall migrations and in the winter.
White-tailed deer are frequently seen. Southern fox squirrels are plentiful, and raccoons, though nocturnal, may be seen during the day. If you are lucky, you may spot a playful family of river otters or dolphins cruising the creeks and bays. Alligators are common and should be given a wide berth. Also keep an eye out for cottonmouths and copperheads, the poisonous snakes in the area.
Bull Island (named for an early settler) is the focal point for visitors. A two-mile trail, with informative plaques, leads through a lush forest. A fine beach, fishing, and excellent birding are other attractions on the island. Surf fishermen try for channel bass. Access to Bull Island is by ferry from Garris Landing.
Refuge open year-round.
(843) 928-3368; (843) 928-3264