Blackbeard Island is among the coastal beaches off the coast of Georgia. Located approximately 5 miles north of Eulonia, Georgia, Blackbeard Island gets its name from the alleged story that Blackbeard, the notorious pirate Edward Teach, buried his treasure somewhere along this coast.
Die hard treasure hunters still believe Blackbeard’s treasure is buried there, but there has never been any evidence that the rumors are true. Currently, artifact hunting is not allowed on the island. If Blackbeard’s treasure lies beneath the sands of the Island or the shallows of the Atlantic, it may be destined to remain there forever.
Blackbeard Island is open for wildlife enthusiast, beachcombers, and fisherman daily from dawn to dusk. The only access to the island is via boat. The 5, 618 acre island is a federal wildlife refuge. Salt water and fresh water marshes, as well as the beach, make an ideal home for migratory birds and other wildlife. Blackbeard Island is noted for a multitude of waterfowl, shore birds, wading birds, song birds, raptors, deer, sea turtles, the bald eagle and American alligators.
Blackbeard is one of the earliest national wildlife preserves in the country, purchased in 1800. The Navy did a limited amount of oak harvesting for ship building. It was declared a national wildlife preserve in 1924, and a national wildlife refuge in 1940.
Island wildlife and fish includes many threatened species. Therefore, a lot of time and money is spent to ensure the safety of the species, the integrity of the island, and maintain law and regulation on the island. Guided educational tours can be arranged for individuals, families, or groups.
Between 1880-1910, Blackbeard Island was used as a South Atlantic Quarantine Station for yellow fever. On the north end of the island the only historic reminder of the island’s history is the existence of a crematorium. There is no hard evidence that any bodies were incinerated in the crematorium, but remnants of the facility serve as an eerie reminder of Blackbeard Island’s tainted history.
Interestingly, only 11,000 tourists visit the island each month. Blackbeard Island is one of the lesser known islands of the coastal barrier islands of Georgia. There are trails for hiking and biking. Photography and hunting are possible on the island, as are fishing, shrimping, and crabbing in season. Kayaking and day use of the beach is permitted.
Blackbeard Island relies on limited staff and volunteers to maintain the refuge. Volunteers assist with educational tours; fish, wildlife, and bird surveys; help maintain a photographic database; and assist with habitat maintenance and modification.
Blackbeard National Wildlife Refuge