Beaufort News

Corps won't meet deadline to reopen wildlife drive

Plans to reopen the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive, part of the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, have been delayed, refuge officials said last week.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency overseeing repairs of a freshwater diversion canal there, has said it will not be able to meet a June 1 target. A new reopening date has not been set, refuge officials said in a news release.

In addition to extending the wildlife drive closure, the corps has requested portions of the trail system north of S.C. 170 be closed as work begins on the upper part of the canal. Several trails and the Kingfisher Pond Recreation Area off U.S. 17 remain open.

Visitors are asked to call 843-784-2468 or stop by the Savannah Natural Wildlife Reserve visitor center for information and maps regarding trail closures. Updates on trail closures and the reopening of the Laurel Hill Wildlife Drive will be posted on the refuge website,

The Savannah Natural Wildlife Reserve visitor center is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and is closed Sundays and federal holidays.