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Savannah Coastal Refuges GeoTrail: Pinckney Island Multi-cache

Hidden : 05/27/2016
1.5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

Welcome to the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex GeoTrail!  This geocache has been placed with the explicit permission of the USFWS Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex.

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 Cache information:  Pinckney Island NWR

Steward: Edisto Patto
National Wildlife Refuge: PINCKNEY ISLAND
Cache type: Multicache
Starting Coordinates: N 32° 14.078 W 080° 46.787
Difficulty: 1.5
Terrain: 2

Hours: The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset daily; no overnight use is allowed. The entrance gate is scheduled to automatically close approximately 30 minutes after sunset. Hours are strictly enforced

Pinckney Island NWR, established December 4, 1975, was once included in the plantation of Major General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, a prominent lawyer active in South Carolina politics from 1801 to 1815. Few traces of the island's plantation in the 1800's exist today. From 1937 to 1975, when it was donated to the Fish and Wildlife Service, Pinckney Island was privately owned and managed as a game preserve.

The 4,053 acre refuge includes Pinckney Island, Corn Island, Big and Little Harry Islands, Buzzard Island and numerous small hammocks. Pinckney is the largest of the islands and the only one open to public use. Nearly 67% of the refuge consists of salt marsh and tidal creeks. A wide variety of land types are found on Pinckney Island alone: salt marsh, forestland, brushland, fallow field and freshwater ponds. In combination, these habitats support a diversity of bird and plant life. 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.

The refuge is located in Beaufort County, South Carolina and is 1/2 miles west of Hilton Head Island off of U.S. Highway 278. The island is bounded by Skull Creek (the Intracoastal Waterway) on the east, Mackay Creek on the west, and its northern tip faces Port Royal Sound. From I-95, take SC Exit 8 east towards Hilton Head Island approximately 16 miles to the entrance gate on the left.

The Cache

The cache is NOT at the posted co-ordinates. They are the co-ordinates for the entry road into the refuge. To find the final cache co-ordinates you will need to answer some questions found on the informational signs along the trail from the parking lot to the Ibis Pond area . It is less than 2 miles roundtrip… walking or biking only. The final is located at N 32 13.ABC W 080 47.DEF.

IMPORTANT: You should first stop and read the Historic Signs (REFERENCE POINT HM1) that are located just before the entrance . Make sure you make note of the date at the bottom of the signs giving the year that the signs were erected by the Beaufort County Historical will need it at the final!!!! Then proceed to the parking area (WAYPOINT P0) and then find the beginning of the trail (WAYPONT R0). You will need to walk or bike the paved trail to the Ibis Pond area to obtain some of the answers and some of the answers will be found as you take the short trail around the pond (WAYPOINT R1).

1. There are 8 DIFFERENT trees and plants mentioned on the Maritime forest sign…These include all EXCEPT:

a. Live oak.... A=5
b. Cedar.... A=7
c. Loblolly Pine.... A=2
d. Spanish Moss.... A=6

2. The amount of organic matter/acre produced by Salt Marsh Plants is:

a. 20 pounds/acre.... B=5
b. 100 pounds/acre.... B=3
c. 10 tons/acre.... B=9
d. 30 tons/acre ....B=6

3. Ibis Pond was enlarged in what year?

a. 1997….C=7
b. 1967….C=5
c. 2007….C=0
d. 2002….C=2

4. How many nests per tree might be occupied by wading birds?

a. 4….D=3
b. 6….D=2
c. 5….D=1
d. 10…D=0

5. The Passion Vine is the host plant of what named butterfly?

a. Black Swallowtail…E=5
b. Monarch…E=3
c. Gulf Fritillary…E=7
d. Long Tailed Skipper…E=7

6. The Birds of Fields and Forests sign lists a number of year round and part year residents. Which is only here during winter?

a. Northern Cardinal….F=3
b. Yellow Rumped Warbler….F=5
c. Painted Bunting….F=7
d. Eastern Bluebird….F=9

The final is located at N 32 13.ABC W 080 47.DEF

The Savannah Coastal Refuges GeoTrail:

Savannah area Geocachers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex are proud to present the Savannah Coastal Refuges GeoTrail!  There are 7 special geocaches placed to help you learn more about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex!

Steps to the Savannah Coastal Refuges GeoTrail:

1. Obtain a Savannah Coastal Refuges GeoTrail Passport from our Headquarters location or download a PDF from

2. Go to create a log-in and find the GPS coordinates and more information for the Savannah Coastal Refuges GeoTrail locations.

3. Start your search and locate all 7 caches using a hand-held GPS unit. The cache containers are sealed boxes, labeled as a Savannah Coastal Refuges GeoTrail geocache. Caches are located near Savannah, Georgia, in both great states of Georgia and South Carolina.

4. When you find a GeoTrail cache, log your name and any comments on the logbook inside the cache and punch your Passport with the unique orienteering punch for that specific Refuge.


5. Be sure to follow the Leave No Trace guidelines

6. Complete all of the GeoTrail's caches to get a custom Geo-Coin created by the master and celebrated designer Christian Mackey! Bring your completed passport into the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and receive your coin. (Coins will not be mailed )

The USFWS Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex:

The Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex (SCRC) is a group of 7 National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) spanning over 100 miles along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia.  Our Refuges include SavannahPinckney IslandHarris NeckWassawBlackbeard IslandTybee, and Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuges.  Our headquarters is located at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, near Hardeeville, South Carolina. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is the premier government agency dedicated to the conservation, protection and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. The USFWS also helps ensure a healthy environment for people by protecting such ecosystem services as clean air and water.

Since President Theodore Roosevelt designated the first wildlife Refuge in 1903, the National Wildlife Refuge System has grown to include more than 560 refuges, 38 wetland management districts and other protected areas encompassing 150 million acres of land and water from the Caribbean to the remote Pacific. There is at least one National Wildlife Refuge in every state and territory, and within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas.

National wildlife refuges provide habitat for more than 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 250 reptile and amphibian species, and more than 1,000 species of fish. More than 380 threatened or endangered plants or animals are protected on wildlife refuges. Each year, millions of migrating birds use refuges as stepping stones while they fly thousands of miles between their summer and winter homes.

Each of the Refuges across the nation has been created for their own special, specific reasons.  This geocache series will help you learn more about each of the 7 Refuges that make up the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex!

For more information about this series, please contact us at SCRC Ranger.  For general questions about geocaching at USFWS National Wildlife Refuges, please contact USFWS Land Manager user IslandsAndOcean.


Disclaimer to New Geocachers:
Please join us in playing! All are welcome who observe and obey the rules. Please do not move or vandalize the container. Replace the cache like or better than you found it and when you leave, and make sure the cache is completely covered. Please do not remove the stamp from the geocache box, this is a essential game piece for cachers working on the GeoTour. The real treasure is in finding the container and sharing your thoughts with everyone who finds it. Pick up a GeoTrail Passport at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. DO NOT LEAVE SWAG/TRADE ITEMS OR TRAVEL BUGS/GEOCOINS BEHIND IN THE CACHES, PER USFWS PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS


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