Cache information: Wassaw NWR
National Wildlife Refuge: WASSAW
Cache type: Traditional
Starting Coordinates: N 31° 52.708 W 080° 58.940
Hours: The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week, unless otherwise posted. Access to the refuge is by boat only, and the Fish and Wildlife Service does not provide transportation. Visitors must use their own boat or make arrangements with a local boat captain or charter service. The government dock located on Wassaw Creek may be used for loading and unloading of passengers and gear; mooring for an extended period of time is not allowed.
Wassaw, one of Georgia's coastal barrier islands, was designated a National Wildlife Refuge on October 20, 1969. Unlike many of Georgia's Golden Isles, little development and few management practices have modified Wassaw's primitive character. The 10,053-acre refuge includes beaches with rolling dunes, live oak and slash pine woodlands, and vast salt marshes.
Refuge visitors may enjoy recreational activities such as birdwatching, beachcombing, hiking, and general nature studies. The 20 miles of dirt roads on Wassaw Island and seven miles of beach provide an ideal wildlife trail system for hikers. Birdwatching is particularly fruitful during the spring and fall migrations.
The island supports rookeries for egrets and herons, and several species of wading birds are abundant in the summer months. In summer, telltale tracks on Wassaw's beach attest to nocturnal visits by the threatened loggerhead sea turtles that come ashore for egg laying and then return to sea.
Deer hunts (both bow and gun) are scheduled in the fall and winter (click here for refuge hunt information). The saltwaters of the refuge marshlands are open to fishing throughout the year (click here to download refuge fishing regulations).
Wassaw NWR is accessible only by boat, and transportation to the refuge is not provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Visitors may use their own boats to reach the refuge or arrangements can be made through local boat captains and charter services. Several local marinas in the Savannah area (at Skidaway Island and Isle of Hope) and a public boat ramp adjacent to the Skidaway Island bridge can serve as launching sites for trips to Wassaw. Only Wassaw Island is open to the public, daily from sunrise to sunset; all other upland areas of the refuge are closed.
Please remember that pets of any kind are NOT permitted anywhere on the refuge. This includes dogs that are leashed. This rule is strictly enforced to ensure protection of refuge wildlife and habitat, which is the primary mission of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Cache is at posted coordinates however you will have to read the kiosk to reveal the 4 digit combination ("ABCD") that unlocks the cache.
In an attempt to escape cholera epidemic in 184__, 300 enslaved Africans/African Americans, likely including 11 owned by Odingsell, were sent to Wassaw. Missing Digit = A
Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge:
How many Wilson's Plovers are pictured? = B
The distance given between points on South Pond Trail = C
Wildlife and Biodiversity:
The water passages formed between marshes and barrier islands support 75 - __5% of all marine speciesat some point in their lives. Missing Digit = D
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 www.fws.gov/refuge/Savannah
2. Go to Geocaching.com 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 Savannah, Pinckney Island, Harris Neck, Wassaw, Blackbeard Island, Tybee, 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:
DO NOT LEAVE SWAG/TRADE ITEMS OR TRAVEL BUGS/GEOCOINS BEHIND IN THE CACHES, PER USFWS PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
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 GeoTrail. 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.
PASSPORTS CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE