Skidaway Island State Park is a fun day adventure if you are staying near Savannah, Georgia. The trails are flat and easy, and there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing. I’ve been twice with my dog, Chaucer, and look forward to going back the next time we are in the area.
Here’s a quick glimpse of what you can expect at Skidaway State Park.
Environment: Maritime forest, salt marshes, tidal rivers, sloughs. Part of the Colonial Coast Birding Trail. You may be able to glimpse dolphins in the tidal rivers. Watch for the occasional alligator in the sloughs.
Trails: flat and easy.
Is it dog friendly? Yes. Dogs are allowed on the trails, campsites, and in select cabins. Dogs are not allowed in the visitor center.
Why visit Skidaway Island State Park?
This state park allows you to explore salt marshes and the habitats near the Intracoastal Waterway. I’ve heard that sometimes you can even see dolphins in the Waterway! It’s also a fun state park if you enjoy birding. It’s part of the Colonial Coast Birding Trail, and you can find checklists and more info on coastal birding here.
If you are traveling around Georgia with your pup, this is a great stop to stretch your legs. Much more scenic than a truck stop, and it’s convenient to Savannah. I definitely recommend it if you are traveling in the spring or fall when the weather is mild. You might prefer exploring the park in the early morning if you visit during the summer!
Things to see and do at Skidaway Island State Park
I love the Sandpiper Trail Loop and Avian Loop Trail the most at this state park. The Sandpiper Trail Loop is a one-mile trail traversing a boardwalk over the salt flats and through an island hammock. The island hammock has palm trees and other plant life that can’t live in the marshes.
It’s fun seeing so many habitats over such a relatively short walk. The Sandpiper Trail is also the access trail for the Avian Loop Trail. The Avian Loop goes out along the Intracoastal Waterway, making it a prime spot for birding and more interesting plants.
Each trail is a mile, so plan on roughly two miles if you do both trails. The Sandpiper Trail starts behind the visitor center.
Big Ferry Trail
Big Ferry Trail, on the other side of the park, is approximately two miles. It’s also a flat, easy trail. The Big Ferry Trail has freshwater sloughs (sort of like seasonal ponds) with more birding and wildlife viewing opportunities. There’s also a wonderful observation tower looking out over the salt marshes.
Other nearby state parks
Besides being close to Savannah, there are two other state parks near Skidaway that make nice stopovers. Magnolia Springs State Park is north and west along US-25 or GA-17. It’s approximately 2 hours away. George L. Smith State Park is 1.75 hours away. Either park makes a great overnight stop on the way to Skidaway or back to Atlanta if you’d rather break up the long drive!