Blue Heron Nature Trail, Harold Turpin Park, and the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

A quick hop off the interstate lets you stretch your legs and engage your mind.

The Blue Heron Nature Trail, Harold Turpin Park and Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage are located just seconds off Ridgeland’s I-95 Exit 21.

Blue Heron Nature Trail
Turtles often perch on logs along the banks of the Blue Heron pond. Photo Credit: Lyn Boyles

The Blue Heron Nature Center

The 10-acre Blue Heron Nature Center offers relief for the road-weary, and it’s as easy to get to as any rest area. 

The loop trail includes a section of boardwalk through a forested wetland filled with ferns and native plants.

Blue Heron Nature Trail
A boardwalk leads through the forested wetlands. Photo Credit: Lyn Boyles

This 10-acre green space boasts a quarter-mile recycled rubber trail around a three-acre pond and a quarter-mile of boardwalk through forested wetlands. The property also includes a butterfly garden, picnic area, outdoor classroom, observation decks, and a 4,200-square-foot Learning Center. Permanent trailside displays help visitors learn more about the native flora and fauna of Jasper County and the Lowcountry.

Scenic overlook at a pond
There are several scenic overlooks to observe wildlife. Photo Credit: Lyn Boyles

The nature trail leads you around the pond with several scenic overlooks along the way. Along the trail you will find benches, swings, and an attractive butterfly garden.

In addition to the herons, you may see ducks, turtles, fish, alligators, and other wildlife here. Also, several boardwalks take you through the surrounding forested wetlands. Get out of the traffic and spend some time relaxing while you wander around this natural gem.

Blue Heron Nature Trail
Benches are placed along the trail to rest and enjoy nature.
Photo Credit: Lyn Boyles

The nature trail is open daily dawn to dusk. The Nature Center is open Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Here you’ll find many displays of animals and other interesting facts about the South Carolina Lowcountry.

There is a parking lot that has plenty of room for a camper. The nature trail is also dog-friendly but be sure to pick up what you put down.

Harold Turpin Park Ridgeland, SC
The Harold Turpin Park is a wonderland for children.

The Harold Turpin Park

The Harold Turpin Park is located very close by. It is a great spot to bring a picnic and lets the kids take a break from the back seat. The recently updated park has a treehouse and zip line, as well as a water feature and many other goodies.

Harold Turpin Park Ridgeland, SC
A water feature is a perfect addition for hot summer days.

The Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage

If you need more of a respite from I-95 traffic head into town just a few blocks to the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage. Their mission is to cultivate community experiences through education, preservation, and celebration of the region’s rich history and culture. Here you can see changing exhibits connected to the Lowcountry heritage.

Exhibits currently on view:

Beyond the Oaks: Lowcountry Plantations
May 2019 – April 2020

Morris Center Beyond the Oaks: Lowcountry Plantations

The historic landscape of the Lowcountry is shaped by the presence of plantations. This exhibition examines area plantations from colonial times to the 21st century.

The Morris Center invites visitors to approach the exhibit with a positive attitude towards the future. A comprehensive understanding of plantations and the people who lived and worked on them is vital to the strength of our community.

Beyond the Oaks is a documentary film designed for the Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage about the history and future of that well-known southern staple the Plantation Home. Through interviews with experts, artists, historians, and homeowners this documentary dares to ask, when you say the word plantation what are you planting?
Come visit and watch the full documentary.

3-D Honey Hill Battlefield Display
Get a feel for how this significant battle of the Civil War played out. This display features a three-dimensional diorama of the Honey Hill Battlefield that took place in Ridgeland, South Carolina on November 30, 1864.

Morris Center  3-D Honey Hill Battlefield Display

The Great Charleston Earthquake, 1886
June 1, 2019 – November 2, 2019

The Great Charleston Earthquake, 1886

This exhibit examines the most destructive earthquake ever recorded in the eastern United States. The quake occurred near Charleston, SC on August 31, 1886. Discover details about the devastation and how rescue efforts were deployed during the 1800’s. The exhibit also teaches how to protect yourself today should an earthquake occur.

Black Gold: 13th Annual African American Fiber Arts Exhibition
Coming Soon: November 9, 2019 – March 21, 2020

Morris Center African American Fiber Arts Exhibition

Organized and presented by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, this unique opportunity offers African American fiber artists an annual showcase to exhibit their original and innovative designs. This selection of pieces is on loan through the SC State Museum.

For more information on activities along the SC Lowcountry visit the South Carolina Lowcountry Day Trips page.

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