Visiting Florida's state parks and beyond in our Roadtrek. This is how we saw it all. Hopefully, the posts will give you some useful information. Questions and comments are welcome.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Return to Georgia's Skidaway Island State Park


We really like Skidaway Island State Park, so we returned a couple of months later to see more and visit Tybee Island. Something new at the park as of January 1. Reservations are site specific now instead of open. The park has 70 pull-through sites.

We returned to Site #62 in Campground #4.  Spacious, level and shady.  It is a large open site with a tent pad. This, and the fire pit and picnic table, are a good distance from the utilities. This is a 30/20 amp site with water, no sewer. Lots of running room at this site. Good for families with young kids. There are sites with 50/30/20 amp, and some with sewage. Some are gravel with timber borders. All but five are pull-through.  All are shaded to some degree. Can't remember seeing a site with no shade.


The park has a small interpretive center that is sometimes open and sometimes closed.  This trip it was open so we hopped on in. I think I heard that it will be replaced in the future. Maybe bigger?

Inside there are several visuals. This being the one that stands out the most.  It is a replica of the skeleton of a giant sloth that once roamed the area. I wonder were they super slow? This stands about 15'. In this room is a short video about the marshy area of Skidaway Island.


In other rooms there are dioramas depicting the local wildlife in their native habitat and some displays of mammals and birds and other artifacts found in the area.

Outdoors on the deck are a few bird feeders that are always alive with a variety of birds partaking of the goods provided.

Next to the center is the trailhead for Sandpiper Nature Trail and the Half mile Loop Trail that circumvents the day use area and playground.  The Sandpiper Nature Trail is a 1 mile loop. From it one can take a connector trail to the Avian Way Trail, a 1 mile loop.  The following are photos along the Sandpiper Nature Trail.


The intersection of a connector trail and Sandpiper Nature Trail. The blockade a result of a boardwalk damaged by Hurricane Mathew. I went right. The north leg of the loop.


The other end of the blockade.  I was headed to the Avian Way Trail and turned right. The other end of the blocked part of the Sandpiper Nature Trail loop.

Imagine...a Snowy White Heron on the Avian Way Trail. Saw plenty of these in the marshy area.

This trail loops along the Savannah Narrows.


Lot of old driftwood along this leg of the trail.

Back to the Sandpiper blockage and beyond.  Came this far, had to go around the barrier and see for myself.


Well used critter path.

 Looking south over the marsh toward the Diamond Causeway Bridge.

So, here is the boardwalk damaged by Hurricane Matthew. Broken trail. Managed to get across the muck below with only one wet foot.

The other end under repair.

Headed back to the Interpretive Center and the trailhead. Both the Avian and Sandpiper loops are very easy hiking and offer a lot to see. 

The next day we hit the road and went to visit Tybee Island.


Entering town we passed Chinmey Creek. Piers from homes on the right jut out into the creek.  Plan your trip to and from home if you're boating. The tide dictates whether you get in or out.

A small beach and vacation island east of Savannah, known as Savannah's Beach, one can come and enjoy the day or longer at a very nice beach. Here is the pavilion at the end of the main street in town. This appears to be the main access to the beach.

Very nice beach, clean and spacious.

 The pier.  One can fish or just enjoy the ocean. Tybee Island has 3 ocean beaches and 2 river beaches.

 There are other access points along the beach. This one is at North Beach, near the Tybee Island Light Station and Ft. Screven.

 "Downtown" is typical beach community with many shops and restaurants. Something for everyone. Family oriented, spring break oriented, but there are some fine dining restaurants.


 Fort Screven was built in 1898 as a Coast Artillery fort to protect the Savannah River. It was occupied from the Spanish-American war through both World Wars. It was considered surplus in 1945 and acquired by Savannah Beach. Battery Garland served as the gun battery and magazine for a 12-inch long-range gun. The room that formally stored over six hundred-pound projectiles and two hundred-pound bags of gun powder, now serves as a museum.

Another of the three gun batteries in the fort's complex.

The Tybee Island Light Station.

It is one of America's most intact light houses having all of its historic support buildings on its five-acre site. Rebuilt several times the current light station, 144' tall, displays its 1916 day mark with 178 stairs and a First Order Fresnel lens (nine feet tall).
Some of the homes and condos on the island.  There are many summer homes, airbnb's, condos, inns and motels as this little town is a popular resort community. There is a even an rv park or two.


 Great street signage in the burbs.

 Tybee Island is the east endpoint of US Hwy 80. Unfortunately, over the years the highway has suffered from the lack of maintenance. The west end is now in Dallas, TX. There are abbreviated spans from Dallas to San Diego, but no longer any continuity in that direction.

 On the way back to the campground we stopped at two places:

A great restaurant for seafood with southern sides.  And, good views from the window and lounge seats of Wylly Island and the Herb River.


Wylly Island.


Herb River. All these rivers and creeks are affected by the tide and make for neat viewing. 

 Remains of an adjacent pier . Tides out exposing oysters.

 And, we stopped at Butter Bean Beach. A little marina and park at one end of the Diamond Causeway bridge crossing Skidaway River.

The bridge.

The boat ramp.

Doing some kayak fishing. 

A mid-school class on an outing. I assume a biology or environment class from their activities.

 The sea bird gathering place.

Nice park for just having a picnic and watching the world go by.