It was a second Saturday, and the Lowcountry Unfiltered group had another trip planned. This time it would be a bicycle trek to the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge on the Georgia coast south of Savannah. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join them. We were making a quick trip to Florida to pick up Laura’s mother. However, since we would be driving right past, we decided to stop on the way down. We liked it so much that we also decided to stop on the way back to break up the trip. It turned out to be a great discovery.
Sometime between 1929 and 1932 this area was developed as an airfield, and served as an emergency landing strip for air routes along the Eastern coast. In WWII it was redeveloped as an Army airfield and was used to train both fighters and bombers. In 1946 there was an attempt to transform the Army base into a commercial airfield, but that ultimately failed. In 1962 the area was designated as a wildlife area.
The runways of the old airfield are in an unusual triangular pattern. The old tarmac remains, and this serves as an excellent base for hiking or biking. There is also a wildlife drive that loops through the area, using part of the old runways and taxiways.
On our first stop it had just started raining, but we decided to do the wildlife loop anyway. We first stopped at Woods Pond, and were amazed at the number of storks and green herons. The whole place was covered with birds.
The road continued through pine, live oaks, and hanging Spanish moss…
…then crossed several of the old runways.