Colleton County’s Donnelley Wildlife Management Area
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.
Donnelley has walking trails and a driving tour. Navigating is best done using a map. Pick one up at the office or download one HERE. This map gives great details of all aspects of the property. The map also shows the locations of restrooms.
The first trail takes you to a dike across an old rice field reserve. This is a great spot to see endangered Wood Storks. Driving further in, you cross an ancient rice field dike that was constructed in the 18th century. The Boynton Nature Trail is next. This 2.2-mile walking trail circles another part of the old rice field complex. All types of waterfowl can be viewed here and throughout the property.
Driving further onto the property brings you to the historic rice trunk, which features floodgates that can be raised or lowered to control water levels in the rice fields.
Look for alligators. They can be found sunning on the banks or floating lazily by in the water.
Further onto the property brings you to fields and meadows, where several types of birds and mammals can be found.
The driving tour covers about 11 miles and should take from an hour to half a day, depending on how many stops you make. The marked stops on the map serve simply as suggestions; feel free to stop anywhere along the way (although please park on the shoulder) and walk off the road at any point to get a closer look at wildlife or native plants. Take extra precautions when viewing alligators, especially during the spring mating season.
For more information visit the DNR website.