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McIntosh County

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge: (text provided by Mary Elfner)

Harris Neck is a National Wildlife Refuge owned by the Coastal Refuge Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge's 2,765 acres consist of saltwater marsh, freshwater impoundments, mixed deciduous woods, and open fields. Diversity is great here concerning habitats and bird watching. Partly, this is due to the fact that Harris Neck was once an active airstrip - the Harris Neck Army Airfield - which was deactivated in 1944. The abandoned airstrip is now a grassy field and interspersed throughout the Refuge are freshwater impoundments with names like Woody, Bluebill, and Snipe Ponds. Harris Neck is also bordered on the north by the South Newport River adding further diversity due to the salt marshes. Opportunities for public use include hiking, saltwater fishing, hunting, photography, bicycling, and wildlife observation. For birders, Harris Neck is a great place to view wading birds and grassland species. Many different kinds of sparrows are found here, including Vesper, Grasshopper, Field, Song, and Savannah Sparrows. Actively managed ‘greentree’ reservoirs support rookeries of many wading birds including Great and Snowy Egrets; Black-crowned Night Herons; Tricolored, Green-backed, and Little Blue Herons; Anhingas; Wood Storks; and White Ibis.

Hours: Sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week.

Directions: Take Exit 12 off of I-95, head south on U.S. 17 approximately 1 mile to Harris Neck Road, Georgia Route 131, just past the ‘Smallest Church in America’. This road leads to the refuge and it is well marked. For management purposes, portions of the refuge may be temporarily closed to the public. Please call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (912) 652-4415 for more information.