Wassaw Island, preserved as a National Wildlife Refuge, is one of several undeveloped barrier islands along the Georgia coast accessible as a day trip out of Savannah. Most of the refuge’s salt marsh is not open to the public, but the large ocean-fronting area can be visited during daylight hours. It’s definitely worth the trip. Wassaw Island has miles of beachfront and maritime forest, providing an excellent environment for beach-combing, wildlife-watching or just for peaceful and secluded access to nature.
Wassaw Island 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, maritime forest, and vast salt marshes. The refuge is bordered by the Wilmington River and Wassaw Sound on the north, the Vernon River and Ossabaw Sound on the South, and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. Salt marsh and tidal creeks separate the refuge from the mainland and Skidaway Island to the west.
Getting To Wassaw Island
Access to each of the islands of the Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge is possible only by boat. Private boat Visitors may launch boats to travel to Wassaw, most conveniently from either of the marinas at Isle of Hope or Skidaway Island, or from the public ramp next to the Skidaway Island bridge, just off Diamond Causeway.
Landing and unloading are permitted at the dock on Wassaw Creek, but mooring is not allowed. Moor off the south or north ends of the island instead.