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.

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Edisto Island State Park

If you are in search of a great oceanfront campground, look no further than Edisto Beach State Park. The park is rich in Native American history, wildlife, hiking and biking opportunities, as well as two campgrounds, cabins and 1.5 miles of pristine shell-covered beachfront.

The park is made up of 1,255 acres of maritime forest along the beautiful SC coastline. There you will find the environmental learning center, ranger station, and welcome station.

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Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

If you are in search of a great oceanfront campground, look no further than Edisto Beach State Park. The park is rich in Native American history, wildlife, hiking and biking opportunities, as well as two campgrounds, cabins and 1.5 miles of pristine shell-covered beachfront.

The park is made up of 1,255 acres of maritime forest along the beautiful SC coastline. There you will find the environmental learning center, ranger station, and welcome station.

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Beaufort’s Hero Robert Smalls and Tabernacle Baptist Church

Robert Smalls was born into slavery on April 5, 1839. Robert and his mother lived in a two-room shack behind 511 Prince Street in Beaufort. Robert was treated very well by his owners, Henry and Jane McKee, for it was rumored that Mr. McKee was Robert’s father.

At the request of his mother, twelve-year-old Robert was sent to Charleston and hired out as a laborer. Most of his earnings were returned to his owner, but he could keep $1 per week for himself. He first worked in a hotel and as a lamplighter. His love of the ocean led him to find work on the docks. He began as a longshoreman and worked his way up to wheelman. His experience gave him great knowledge of ships and the Charleston harbor. Robert married Hannah Jones in 1856 and started a family. He was only 17. After a time, his goal was to purchase their freedom, but the price was very steep for someone of his circumstance.

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Bluffton’s Shell Art Trail

Giant oyster shells have popped up like daisies throughout historic Bluffton. The Shell Art Trail is a fun public art trail that both entertains and educates. The cultural exhibit has 21 giant oyster shells placed throughout Bluffton. The shells have been uniquely painted by local artists. While hunting for shells, you will learn interesting oyster facts along the way.

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Beaufort’s John Mark Verdier House Museum

Visit downtown Beaufort’s historic John Mark Verdier House Museum for a step back in time. The impressive Federal-style mansion was built around 1804 by John Mark Verdier, a successful merchant and planter.

Verdier acquired significant wealth by trading indigo. He then purchased over 1,000 acres which he used to grow sea island cotton. The house on Bay Street was a highly visible statement of his wealth and status as a member of Beaufort’s planter class.

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Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge

The Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge is home to a vast array of waterfowl, fish, shellfish and many other animals. It is also the home of Oak Grove Plantation House. Since 1992, the former rice plantation has been under the protection of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge
According to the Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge’s website:

The Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge helps protect the largest undeveloped estuary along the Atlantic Coast, with rich bottomland hardwoods and fresh and saltwater marsh offering food and cover to a variety of wildlife. ACE Basin stands for the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Rivers, which form the estuary and parts of the Refuge boundary. The entire basin encompasses more than 350,000 acres, of which the Refuge comprises just less than 12,000 acres.

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Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary

There is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary located in the middle of the historic and picturesque city of Walterboro, SC.

Easily reached from I-95, the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place to leave the traffic behind, stretch your legs and enjoy nature. The sanctuary contains a network of boardwalks, hiking, biking and canoe trails that are perfect for viewing a diversity of a black water bottomland habitat.

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Historic Churches of Ridgeland and Its Surrounding Villages

Ridgeland and its surrounding villages are home to many beautiful and historic churches. They are close enough in proximity to make a day trip to visit these special houses of worship.

Located in the Grahamville area you will find both Church of the Holy Trinity Episcopal and its neighbor Euhaw Baptist Church.

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Old Sheldon Church Ruins Gain Protection

One of the lowcountry’s most photographed sites recently gained several feet of protection. In an effort to preserve and protect the Old Sheldon Church, a locked fence has been placed around the ruins. Visitors can still visit the site but cannot pass through the iconic columns and brick arches.

The church is owned by the Parish Church of St. Helena. They have been researching ways to preserve the ruins from rapid decay. The historic structure has fallen victim to vandalism by way of desecrating tombstones, graffiti, brick removal and destruction.

The Parish Church of St. Helena has plans to bring in docents on site to lead tours through the beautiful ruins. Restoration work will shortly begin first. Walking paths will be placed within the interior portion of the ruins. Walking through the brick archways will only be possible with professional supervision to ensure damage is not done to the structure.

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