What is a turtle walk?
Explore the beach at night and learn about the amazing journey of loggerhead sea turtles nesting along the Georgia coast. After a quick check in, in the Georgia Sea Turtle Center parking lot, you’ll head to the beach for a guided beach tour in search of a nesting mother where you will learn about sea turtle biology, threats, and how you can help! Participants must provide their own transportation to the beach access after the presentation.
Coming June-July 2021
Please keep in mind you will be walking along the beach at night. Participants are not permitted to carry flashlights. While the beach walk is done at a leisurely pace (we don’t want to scare a potential nester!), if we are contacted by Turtle Patrol about a siting, we may pick up the pace in order to make the encounter.
Program Limitations: Because of the late program time and the potentially long walk on the beach, children under 6 are not permitted on Turtle Walks. Program is a walking tour on uneven surfaces (primarily beach sand) and not recommended for elderly or disabled individuals. Pets are not permitted.
When are turtle walks scheduled?
Turtle walks will be conducted select dates between June 1 – July 25 (*Except July 4th) with one nightly program at 9:00 p.m. Reservations are required as group size is limited to 8 guests by DNR permit restrictions and programs fill quickly.
What is the cost of a walk?
$27.50 per person* (w/ tax)
*Includes 1 day general admission to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center & 1 Turtle Walk.
Turtle Walks are based on availability and reservations are required due to space limitations
GSTC Members receive a 10% discount on tickets!
Want to know more about our Membership Program? Click Here to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What are my chances of seeing a turtle? We cannot guarantee you will encounter a sea turtle during your walk. As much as we would appreciate it, these mamas do not RSVP to a Turtle Walk! They are wild animals that nest when they choose. We conduct our Turtle Walks during the peak of nesting season for loggerheads in the state of Georgia (June-July).
- What if it is storming? The turtle walk will occur rain or shine. Unless you are contacted by Georgia Sea Turtle Center personnel, please plan to report to the Georgia Sea Turtle center for your scheduled walk as planned.
- Will I get a refund or the chance to reschedule for another night if I don’t see a turtle? Unfortunately, we cannot give refunds for this reason. We do our best to ensure all participants have a quality experience even if a turtle is not encountered. Other walk activities can include a visit from Sea Turtle Patrol to hear about their work, visiting a current incubating sea turtle nest, and beach ecology activities.
- Where do I go for the turtle walk? All walks begin at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. You will meet your guides in the parking lot to the right of the brick building (look for the white turtles painted on the road).
- Can I bring my children? These walks are not suitable for very young children. No one under the age of 6 will be permitted on the walk.
- How long does a turtle walk last? The program in its entirety lasts approximately 1.5-2 hours. However, some walks have continued past midnight, depending on turtle activity.
- What should I bring/wear? Comfortable beach walking shoes are a must. Shoes must be worn for the duration of the turtle walk. You can expect to walk for at least one hour on one of Jekyll’s beaches. Although many summer nights are quite warm, it can get windy and you may want to consider bringing a sweatshirt or light jacket. Walks occur rain or shine, so having a rain jacket in your car is also a good idea. Insect repellent is highly recommended.
- Can my child wear his/her light-up shoes? The short answer is no. Even if the lights are red or amber, the lights can be distracting to guides and other guests. Additionally, the lights take away from the experience of the nighttime ecosystem.
- I’ve attended many turtle walks in previous years. Will it be the same? First of all, THANK YOU for your continued support of our facility and programs! 2020 Walks will be a little different. Here’s what to expect:
- Like previous years, you will meet your guide at the GSTC and caravan to the beach. Instead of meeting in the giftshop, we’ll meet in the parking lot for check-in
- Walks are limited to 8 guests and 2 guides. Participants will practice physical distancing and are encouraged to wear a face covering
- All beach activities are modified to provide a safe environment for guests and guides
- Walks will last 1.5-2 hours