Turtle Walks

Take a walk on the wild side! Let Jekyll Island be your classroom with our hands-on learning experience into the mysterious lives of endangered sea turtles. With the guidance of Georgia Sea Turtle Center biologists and staff, guests can explore our beaches at night during nesting season, to learn about the amazing journey of loggerhead sea turtles along the Georgia Coast. This popular program begins with a 45 minute presentation at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, with a lesson from experts about the natural history of sea turtles. After the presentation, guests follow Georgia Sea Turtle Center researchers to the beach, where they take on a scientific hunt to locate sea turtle nests.

Turtle Walks are conducted at 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. nightly from June 1 to July 31. There are no Turtle Walks on July 4. Reservations are required, as group sizes are limited to 25 people due to Department of Natural Resources permit restrictions. Please book your Turtle Walk early- these unique opportunities fill up quickly!

Guests can opt to only take the Turtle Walk, which still includes the 45 minute presentation, or can choose a combination package which includes the walk, and a one-day general admission pass to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.

For more information or to book a trip click here

Please note that Turtle Walks are based on availability and reservations are required due to space limitations. All proceeds from the Turtle Walks program help offset operational costs at the Center, including the rehabilitation of patients.

 

A few rules for Turtle Walk guests:

  • Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Due to the time and nature of these walks, we require that children be at least 4 years of age.
  • Doors will open for Turtle Walks at 8:15 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. for each respective walk. You are more than welcome to arrive early and wait outside until the appointed time.
  • Participants must provide their own transportation from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center to the beach. You may follow your Walk Guide via caravan to ensure you reach the meeting location.
  • During the Turtle Walk presentation, the hospital area will not be accessible. However, you are welcome to visit the Center during its normal visiting hours with a general admission purchase or combination ticket.
  • We get just as excited as our guests when a sea turtle nest is located. While we try our best to find a nesting turtle on the beach, we cannot guarantee that you will see one. We know- it’s sad for us, too.
  • For the safety of the turtles and compliance with the Jekyll Island Lighting Ordinance, flashlights, cameras, and video camera lights are not allowed on the Walks. Infrared night vision cameras are allowed at the discretion of the Walk Guide and Center Staff. Walk Guides will have a special, turtle-friendly, approved flashlight.

Golf Cart Nature Tours

Jekyll Island’s three 18-hole golf courses have a secret: the links are great for a round of golf, but just as good for spotting the island’s array of wildlife. The links are a playground for wildlife and wildflowers, and guests are invited to explore these natural spaces in the comfort of a golf cart. With the help of an expert guide, discover the natural flora and fauna that call these courses home. Get in on this wildlife adventure only our locals know about!

Jekyll Island birder and naturalist Lydia Thompson leads tours from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, June through September. Golf cart tours are $20 per person. Reservations can be made at the Jekyll Island Golf Course by calling 912.635.2368. Please note tour times are subject to change, so be sure to call ahead and reserve your cart.

 

Nature Walks

Join experienced guides from the University of Georgia 4-H Tidelands Nature Center for nature walks through Jekyll Island’s beach, maritime forest and marshlands. These expert guides share their deep knowledge of Jekyll’s ecosystem during these hands-on, 90 minute to 2 hour tours.

When: Walks begin at 9 a.m. at the assigned spot, listed below by day. Please note that from November to February, Walks are by appointment only.

Cost: Adults:$5; Children ages 8 to 18: $3; $25 max per family

For more information about Nature Walks, call the Tidelands Nature Center at 912.635.5032.

Monday – Clam Creek Picnic Area
This Nature Walks features marsh and north-end beaches. This Walk meets at the Clam Creek parking lot, located at the north end of island, opposite the campground.

Wednesday – St. Andrews Picnic Area
This Nature Walk features marsh, maritime forest, and south-end beaches. This Walk meets at the St. Andrews parking lot.

Friday – South Dunes Picnic Area
This Nature Walk features maritime forest and beach. This Walk meets at the South Dunes parking lot and is available March to September only.

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What better way to educate yourself on the beauty and opportunities for fun on Jekyll Island than from one of our knowledgeable staff members. Read Their Insights