Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge (Main Trail)

Trail Activities: t

  • Walk
  • Hike
  • Bike


3.50 miles


One Way


Gravel, Grass, Dirt

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Features: t

  • Scenic Observation
  • Parking
  • Information Sign
  • Point of Interest
  • No Pets
  • No Fee
  • No Camping


Studying, viewing, and photographing the island’s wildlife and scenery are popular activities throughout the year. Over 14 miles of trails are open to hiking and bicycling.

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Many trails crisscross this coastal island that is surrounded on all sides by salt marshes brimming with alligators and dolphins. But the easy, 3.5-mile one-way Main Trail cleaves Pinckney Island from north to south and offers access to the best areas. Two-thirds of this island is salt marsh, but the area has a long history of human population, and is currently managed as a National Wildlife Refuge. Researchers traced evidence of Native American settlements dating back 10,000 years in addition to early-18th century European settlements. You will enjoy the island for its flora and fauna, too; especially in the spring, when wildflowers give the entire island a fragrance that’s almost sweet enough to serve as dessert. Raccoons, dolphins, and rookeries for wading birds spill away from all sides.

Hours: Dawn to dusk


From Exit 8 on Interstate 95 near Hardeeville: Drive east on US 278 toward Hilton Head Island. As you start across the bridges to Hilton Head Island, move into the left lane and look for the entrance to Pinckney Island on the left (north) just before you join the bridge. The trailhead is at the parking area and maps are available at a kiosk.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex | 694 Beech Hill Lane, Hardeeville, SC 29927 | (843) 784-2468

Download Coordinates
KML file Trail Segments (Paths)
Trail Features (Points of Interest)
Lat: 32.24910245046414
Long: -80.76792889941407