Navigating Sandy Island
Directions and a Little Bit About Sandy Island
If you want to experience Sandy Island, you’ll need to go by boat. In fact, the island’s children are ferried to the mainland to catch a school bus each day. The Preserve opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. Study the maps on the Nature Conservancy’s website when planning your visit; print one out and keep it handy as you’ll be on your own once you get there. While there is cellphone service on Sandy Island, it can be spotty.
“A census taker got lost on the island a few years back and wasn’t found until the next morning,” said Laura Herriott, a life-long resident who offers tours of the island. “It’s bigger than you think and the trails look a lot alike, so it’s not hard to lose your way.”
There are landings along the Waccamaw River that provide access to the preserve:
Sandy Island Landing – One mile south of Brookgreen Gardens. Turn west at the Sandy Island Landing sign on U.S. Highway 17.
Wacca Wache Landing – From Charleston, take U.S. Highway 17 through Georgetown and Pawleys Island toward Garden City and Myrtle Beach. Turn left onto Wachesaw Road (sign for landing at intersection) and go 2.4 miles to the landing.
Samworth WMA – Take Highway 701 to Plantersville. Turn east at Plantersville General Store onto SSR 52 for approximately six miles. Turn east at Samworth WMA sign on SSR 52.
Yauhannah Landing – Take Highway 701 to Plantersville. Turn east at Plantersville General Store onto SSR 52 for approximately six miles. Turn east at Samworth WMA sign on SSR 52.