Fun Free Things to Do at Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge
Looking for some summer fun, we headed to Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. Piedmont NWR is best known for hunting and fishing opportunities, but there's more to explore during the summer season.
Piedmont NWR's Visitor Center takes guests on a short tour of the local environment, introducing them to the native plants and animals in an interactive way. Learning about the endangered Red-cockaded woodpecker, deer, turkey and plants that grow here is a spectacular way to start exploring the refuge. Free trail maps and fishing permits, as well as information on hunting can be found at the Visitor Center.
There are about five miles of hiking trails open year-round, at Piedmont NWR. The trails are relatively easy and short, leading hikers to view wildlife in their natural habitat and to destinations such as Allison Lake. Bring your binoculars and cameras along on these hikes, as we were able to track and spot a couple deer, as well as sighting many lizard and bird species.
The Creek and Pine trails beginning at the Visitor Center combine to form a 2-mile loop that also connects to the 3-mile Allison Lake trail. Other trails to hike include a 1-mile nature walk along the Wildlife Drive, and the 2.9-mile Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Trail, which loops by a colony site for the endangered bird.
Little Rock Wildlife Drive gives visitors a look at the history of Piedmont NWR, explores various habitats, and explains management programs using a self-guided tour brochure that visitors can pick up at the Visitor Center. Driving along this gentle gravel road is a peaceful way to see some of the interesting highlights of the pine forest and includes a one-mile foot path for nature discovery.
Fishing at Piedmont NWR is allowed from April 1 to Sept. 30 during daylight hours. Anglers reel in a variety of fish, including catfish, sunfish, bream, crappie, and bass at Piedmont's many designated fishing ponds and creeks. There is also a children-only fishing pond for kids age 15 or younger to experience the fun of sport fishing. Be sure to pick up a free fishing permit from the visitor center before heading out.