Fort Frederica & Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge, GA

Fort Frederica saw battle between British and Spanish troops in 1742. Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge was a plantation, a village and a WWII army airfield at different times throughout its history before coming under the management of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Frederica was a fortified town settled in the early 18th century to guard the English territories against Spanish incursion from Florida. Although the site centers around the town and the fortification at its riverside, the visitor center is located outside the old town and thatís where the path begins. The images above and to the right are of Military Road, a path that once connected the town to another British outpost, Fort St Simons, on the south end of the island. The Battle of Gully Hole Creek and the Battle of Bloody Marsh took place on July 7, 1742 along this road. Today this path ends just a few hundred yards away at Frederica Rd. I will leave the rest of the story of Fort Frederica for the photo captions in this gallery.

Ninety minutes after leaving Fort Frederica I was at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. This is another site with some history. Much of Harris Neck is accessible by car using roads that originally serviced the plantation here and later the airbase. There is even a driving tour you can take if you want to see most of the place without leaving your car, but it boggles my mind why anyone would want to come all the way out here to this beautiful wildlife refuge and then remain confined inside a vehicle.

I parked my car and began walking from the first available parking lot. This meant Iíd be walking along the parkís roads for a short while, but I soon found a path into the forest. This path had also once been paved, but nature was reclaiming it and it was a pleasant walk.

All of the waterways at Harris Neck are man-made bird habitats. Except for some odd sharp angles, they donít appear artificial. The wildlife certainly doesnít seem to care care that the ponds are man-made. Whatís more, even the islands in the ponds are artificial. They were put there after the ponds were already in place to give additional roosting places for the birds.

Eventually I came to the old runways, the last remnant of the airbase that was here during WWII. The buildings and planes have all been removed. I've taken photos of the runways and the area around them and those are all posted in this gallery.

That's it for Georgia!


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