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.
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.
St. Helena is home to many beautiful roads. A turn onto Lands End Road puts you right in the heart of the Penn Center. This historically significant landmark is the site of the former Penn School, one of the first educational sites for formally enslaved individuals. Their website says it best, “Opened in 1862 the Penn School tutored freedmen out of slavery and into freedom. After the school closed in 1948, Penn became the first African American site in the state whose primary purpose was to safeguard the heritage of the Gullah Geechie community.
Lake Warren State Park is located just outside Hampton. The park provides many opportunities for outdoor recreation. A wide variety of wildlife can be found in the floodplain forest, wetlands and woodlands of the park. While walking in the park look for deer, armadillo, turtles, raccoons, squirrels… Be on the lookout for alligators, snakes and birds along the shores of the lake.
If you are looking for a dog-friendly beach adventure that aims to please, look to Fripp Island. This easternmost barrier island in South Carolina is located at the end of Highway 21 in Beaufort County. Just a stone’s throw from Hunting Island State Park, Fripp provides private island vacationing (and living) at its finest. Amenities abound and nature delights. If your furry friend is a part of your vacation plans, this is the destination for you.
Many travelers enjoy driving Highway 17, between Charleston and Savannah. The naturally beautiful landscape of Yemassee is located between the two cities. A simple turn off Hwy 17 onto Old Sheldon Church Road is like stepping back in time. Travel up the road for about two miles and see the church ruins on the right. Parking is located across the street. This church was burned during the Revolutionary War, rebuilt and then destroyed again during the Civil War. There is a debate as to whether the church was burned or disassembled during the Civil War.
A drive to Old Town Bluffton is always a good idea. The historic architecture and river views are spectacular. There is also a hidden gem worked into the landscape. Today’s outing started at the Heyward House, located at 70 Boundary St. This property has been in Bluffton since 1841. The house serves as Bluffton’s official Welcome Center and museum. The house is decorated in period furnishings and is complete with artifacts that tell the story of Bluffton, and the people that once lived there. There are also outbuildings located behind the house that represent a cook house and slave quarters.
Donnelley is a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike. It is located on Hwy 17 in Green Pond (between Yemassee and Jacksonboro) in the heart of the ACE Basin. Open from dawn to dusk, this is a great place to glimpse Lowcountry nature at its finest. The property features a historic rice field system, which is now managed to attract waterfowl and migratory birds. The drive is pleasantly lined with beautiful old live oaks.
This 4,053-acre national refuge consists of salt marsh and tidal creeks, forests, grasslands, and freshwater ponds. In combination, these habitats support a diversity of wildlife species.
All trips begin and end at the parking area half a mile from the refuge entrance. Touring this beautiful island is fun on foot or by bicycle. There are over 14 miles of trails to enjoy. Coastal Discovery Museum offers walking tours of Pinckney Island, enlisting the expertise of an experienced bird watcher.