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Tour Reservations

Pinckney Island Programs & Accessibility Tours


 Pinckney Island NWR

Shuttle Nature Tours 

Event Registration

Easy Access:  Our shuttle tours are easy to get on & off and you do not have to leave the shuttle during the tour.  If anyone has trouble walking the shuttle driver will pick them up at their car in the parking lot. 

For organizations with accessibility challenged people - see Group Accessibility Tours

Our tours are free to the public.  Donations are needed to help defray expenses. 

Shuttle Tour Description - The tour is an hour and a half in our 10-seat electric shuttle. There is a docent that is qualified as a Master Naturalist.  The tour is from the parking lot to Ibis Pond and Starr Pond with commentary during the tour. Note that the itinerary is subject to change.  There is an optional walk around Ibis Pond.  If you do not want to walk, you can stay on the shuttle with the driver (usually trained as a docent) and see a view of Ibis Pond from the shuttle. 

Wildlife commonly observed on Pinckney Island include waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, neo-tropical migrants, white-tailed deer and American alligators, with large concentrations of white ibis, herons and egrets. Active rookeries of wading birds are a major draw during spring, and painted buntings and other passerines are the main attraction during summertime.

Accessibility Considerations: Two small steps on the passenger side to get into a seat. Upon request, the shuttle picks up passengers at their auto.  The shuttle tour may stop with optional walking involved. Visitors may opt to stay on the shuttle with either continued commentary and/or drive to the next stop.  There is no room for wheelchairs, carriages, coolers or any other large objects. 

Registration Confirmation:  Unless you receive a "registration completed" Email you are NOT registered for an event. Please either try again or Email southpoledoc@gmail.com 

Reservation Cancellation:  Please notify us if you need to cancel your reservation to allow someone to take your seat.  Cancellations should be done online by selecting the event and indicate you are cancelling your seat.  If you have a problem, please contact George (southpoledoc@gmail.com).

Cancellation During Tour: A tour in progress may be terminated at any time based solely on the discretion of the docent or driver. 

Children: The tours are for adults.  The content is at an adult level for an hour and a half with detailed talks on history, birding, habitats, etc.  If your children will not disturb anyone in any way you can register them as you would for an adult.    

Tour Start Time:  The tour starts on time.  Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to check-in.  If you arrive after the start time, the tour either started or is loading passengers and your seat could have been reassigned.    

Wait List: Our tour seats usually fill up about 2 weeks before the event.  If you register and there are no seats available, you are placed on a wait list.  If seats become available you will be notified. Wait List people will have first priority for available seats.

Last Minute Seats:  If you show up before the tour there is a chance you can get a seat.   Seats are available at the last minute due to cancellations and no-shows.  We also don't allocate all the seats since some people may need extra room.  These extra seats are usually available.  You should arrive at the tour 20 minutes early and tell a Visitor Assistant that you are hoping for an empty seat.  

Directions to Pinckney Island NWR - The island is between Hilton Head Island and the mainland (Bluffton). The refuge is located 1/2 mile west of Hilton Head Island off of U.S. Highway 278.  Take Rt 278 to the middle of the bridge between Hilton Head Island and the mainland (Bluffton). Turn at the large wooden Pinckney Island NWR sign - left turn if you are coming from Bluffton and right turn if you are coming from Hilton Head Island. Drive about 1/4 mile to the parking lot.  Go around the parking lot road about half way until you see the shuttle.  The shuttle is in the parking lot at least 15 minutes before the tour starts.  Note:  The shuttle leaves on time even if all passengers have not arrived. Also see >> Pinckney Island NWR webpage.

Join the Friends >> Become a Member - $15 Single & $25 Family

Your membership will help keep the Pinckney Island NWR programs free to the public. As member you receive (1) Email event notices, (2) Email newsletters and (3) a 10% discount on merchandise on the Pinckney Island Visitor Table and The Gator Hole (our nature store in the Visitor Center at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and (4) invitations to members-only events.     

Additional Considerations

  • Insect Repellent.  During the warmer months at the Refuge, come prepared with insect repellent for mosquitoes and other biting insects which can be very bothersome. 
  • Sunscreen and hats are recommended, as well as comfortable walking shoes to ensure your safety while enjoying the Refuge. 
  • Binoculars, bird and plant guides are helpful in identifying a variety of birds and plants on the Refuge. 
  • Water.  It is always a good idea to bring drinking water. 
  • Cloths.  If you plan on walking in the Refuge, long pants and closed walking shoes are recommended.
  • Red Ants Be careful your party does not step on red ant hills. Please pay attention to where you walk. As you know, red ants have an unpleasant bite and may create an allergic reaction.
  • Alligators Do not approach alligators under any circumstances. This includes small alligators as well as large alligators. 
  • Poison Ivy - Can be found on the Refuge, stay on established trails. 
  • Do Not Disturb the Environment To protect wildlife and their habitat and to provide for greater opportunities for observation and photography, do not disturb flowers, trees, grasses, bushes or wildlife. You will be escorted off the refuge if there is any violation. 

    Please consider donating to the Friends! 

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    Copyright 2017
    PO Box 16841
    Savannah, GA, 31416

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