Wildlife Preserves and Nature Trails in Lowcountry

“Take only pictures, leave only footprints”

South Carolina Lowcountry Wildlife Preserves, Nature Trails and Sights

The ACE Trail

Colleton County
The Historic Ace Trail is located on a three acre site about 2 miles north of the intersection of US Hwy 17 and SC Hwy 303 in Colleton County.  It is adjacent a CSX rail crossing in the Green Pond community. The trail is ideal for walking, biking, general exercise and bird watching.
www.acetrail.org
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Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge

Colleton County
The Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge helps protect the largest undeveloped estuary along the Atlantic Coast. Located on a former rice plantation, the area is home to a wide variety of wildlife.  The refuge office is located in the Grove Plantation house. Built in 1828, it is one of a few surviving antebellum mansions in the ACE Basin area. (404)679-4000
www.fws.govrefugeacebasin
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Audubon Newhall Preserve

Beaufort County
Palmetto Bay Rd., Hilton Head Island.
Hilton Head’s Audubon Newhall Preserve is open to the public at no charge from dawn to dusk daily.
It has a series of short, easy walking trails through the fifty-acre preserve. Pick up a trail guide at the entrance which will guide you through a wide variety of trees and plants, from Florida Scrub to native hardwoods. (843)785-5775
www.hiltonheadaudubon.org
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Bear Island Wildlife Management Area

Colleton County. (843)844-2952. Mon.-Sat.,
Jan. 21th – Oct. 31st. Sunrise to sunset. Located between the Ashepoo and South Edisto Rivers, off US Hwy 17 and approx. 2 miles east of Green Pond.11,055 acres includes 4419 acres of impounded marshland managed for waterfowl. Regulated hunting.
www.dnr.sc.gov
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Bear Island Wildlife Management Area

Blue Heron Nature Trail

Walking tour of Lowcountry Wetlands.
This 10-acre green space boasts the Blue Heron Nature Trail, a quarter-mile  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  Learning Center. Trailside displays help visitors learn more about the native flora and fauna of Jasper County and the Lowcountry. Exit 21, Ridgeland, (843)726-7611
discoversouthcarolina.com
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Blue Heron Nature Trail

Botany Bay Plantation Wildlife Management Area

The 4,360.5 acre Botany Bay Plantation Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located adjacent to the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the southeast corner of Edisto Island. The area’s location near the North Edisto river places it within the boundary of the ACE Basin Focus Area, one of the largest remaining relatively undeveloped wetland ecosystems along the Atlantic Coast. (843) 869-2713.
discoversouthcarolina.com-botany-bay
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Coastal Discovery Museum of Hilton Head Island

Beaufort County

Discover and explore the wonders of the South Carolina Lowcountry at the Coastal Carolina Discovery Museum. Take a leisurely stroll around the museum’s 68-acre property. Trails include the sea shell nature trail which leads to Jarvis Creek, and the camellia garden with its 120 different varieties of bloom and color. Visit the region’s only native butterfly enclosure and experience the life cycle of the local butterfly population. (843)689-6767
www.coastaldiscovery.org
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Cypress Wetlands Walking Trail

Beaufort County
Paris Avenue, Port Royal.
The Cypress Wetlands support abundant populations of native wildlife. The forests, fresh and saltwater marshes, cypress swamps, and ponds provide habitat for a diverse community, including over two hundred species of birds.   The highest species diversity can be seen in the winter. Several species of wading birds including Egrets and herons can be seen nesting in the Rookery as well. (843)986-2211
www.portroyal.org
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Cypress Creek Wildlife Management Area

Hampton/Jasper Counties
4605 acres northwest of Grays between Highways 3 and 278. Deer, wild turkey and small game. Regulated hunting. (843)726-6775

Cypress Creek Wildlife Management Area

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area

Greenpond
With more than 8,000 acres of diverse habitats, Donnelley Wildlife Management Area is a favorite Lowcountry destination for bird watchers. Located in Green Pond on land once used for rice cultivation, the property features a historic rice field system now managed to attract waterfowl and other migratory birds. Donnelley is part of the ACE Basin ecosystem and is one of 17 SC sites designated a global Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society. An 11-mile driving tour of the property takes you to some of the best spots to see the variety of birds and other wildlife. (843)844-8957
discoversouthcarolina.com-donnelley-wildlife-management-area
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Donnelley Wildlife Management Area

Edisto Beach State Park Trails

Edisto Island
Edisto Beach State park has seven different trails that lead explorers through the maritime forest and along Bib Bay Creek. The Spanish Moss Trail takes hikers on a four mile walk to one of South Carolina’s oldest Native American shell mounds, (843)869-4430
www.sctrails.net/trails
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Spanish Mount Trail at Edisto Beach State Park

Edisto Island Serpentarium

1374 Hwy. 174, (843)869-1171.
The serpenterium features snakes, alligator pits, turtles, lizards. You can view these beautiful creatures in both indoor and outdoor facilities. alligators and turtles swim and play in outdoor ponds in outdoor gardens, while other reptiles bask in the large indoor solarium.
www.edistoserpentarium.com
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Edisto Island Serpentarium

Edisto River Canoe & Kayak Trail

Colleton County
The Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail is a recreational gem comprised of a series of access sites and points of interest along a 62-mile stretch of the Edisto River’s Main Stem. The trail starts at Green Pond Church Landing and meanders eastward past Colleton State Park.  At roughly the halfway point in the trail, the river passes Givhans Ferry State Park.  The trail officially ends at Lowndes Landing.  With ample camping and access throughout its length, the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail offers a variety of single and multi-day trips for all ability levels.

www.ercktrail.org/
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Hunting Island State Park Trails

Beaufort County
Hunting Island attracts more than a million visitors a year. Five miles of pristine beach, thousands of acres of marsh and maritime forest, a saltwater lagoon and ocean inlet are all part of the park’s natural allure. The park has eight different trails to explore, winding through the beach, forest and along Johnson Creek. Visitors can view a vast array of land and marine wildlife. (843)838-2011
southcarolinaparks.com/hunting-island
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Marsh Boardwalks at Hunting Island State Park

James M. Waddell, Jr. Mariculture Research and Development Center

Bluffton
211 Sawmill Creek Rd. off Hwy. 278.
One of the largest facilities in the world for fish and shrimp farming and mariculture potential. By appointment only, (843)837-3795
www.dnr.sc.gov/waddell

James M. Waddell, Jr. Mariculture Research and Development Center

Jarvis Creek Park

Located just east of the intersection of US Hwy.278 and the Cross Island Parkway/Gum Tree Road. Freshwater pond fishing, floating dock, playground, grass meadow, picnic facilities, grills, swings, paved pathways, mulched trails and restrooms.
hiltonheadislandsc.gov/ourisland/Parks/
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Jarvis Creek Park

Palmetto Dunes Resort

Explore Hilton Head Island’s only 11 mile salt water lagoon system in a kayak or canoe for a one of a kind Lowcountry nature tour.
(843)785-1138, (866)832-3799
www.palmettodunes.com/activities/hilton-head-canoes-kayaks
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Palmetto Dunes Resort

Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

Beaufort County
Off Hwy 278 past Graves Bridge, Hilton Head Island.
4,052 acres that preserve the salt marsh and maritime habitat. Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge offers a variety of opportunities to explore and enjoy the great outdoors from sunrise to sunset every day. You can observe and photograph wildlife, go fishing, or during the season, hunt white-tailed deer.
(843)784-9911
www.fws.gov/pinckneyisland
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Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge

Sands Boardwalk

Sands Beach Rd, Port Royal
The Henry Robinson Boardwalk along Port Royal’s Battery Creek is a great place for a stroll. Enjoy the wildlife while walking along the vast waterway. Located on the southern tip of Port Royal, Battery Creek flows into the Beaufort River. Search for shark’s teeth on the sandy beach. Boats and kayaks can be launched from a ramp into the river. The boardwalk is a popular place for strolling, crabbing and fishing. An observation tower is located near the end of the boardwalk.
www.beaufortsc.org
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Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Located on Hwy 17, north of the Georgia border, near Hardeeville. 3-mile drive through old rice field dikes. Over 7,000 acres of wetlands flora, fauna.
(843)726-8126
www.fws.gov/savannah
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Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Sea Pines Forest Preserve

Hilton Head Island
The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is a protected area for wildlife habitat and outdoor exploration. The preserve includes bridle paths, wetland boardwalks, bridges and fishing docks. Explorers can choose from guided boat tours, horseback rides, fishing expeditions, or wagon tours, or simply pick up a map and stroll the trails independently, (843) 785-3333
www.seapines.com
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Tillman Sand Ridge Wildlife Management Area

Jasper County.
5 miles west of Tillman on Hwy S-17-119. This 952-acre tract protects the endangered Gopher Tortoise.  The preserve also protects more than a half mile of frontage on the Savannah River.
(843)546-8119, www2.dnr.sc.gov
Click here for map: tillmansandridgewmamap

Tillman Sand Ridge Wildlife Management Area

Turtle Island Wildlife Management Area

Jasper County
Boat access only between Daufuskie Island and Savannah. 1700 acres of salt marsh, maritime forest and barrier beach. The beach is an important foraging and resting area for migratory shorebirds as well as a known nesting area for beach-nesting shorebirds. By appointment only. Regulated hunting.
(803)625-3569
www.audubon.org
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Turtle Island Wildlife Management Area

Victoria Bluff Wildlife Management Area

Jasper County. (803)625-3569,
Near Bluffton on Hwy 278 and the Colleton River. Controlled hiking, bird watching, picnicking and camping. Regulated hunting. Check website for closings.
discoversouthcarolina.com
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Victoria Bluff Wildlife Management Area

Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary

Walterboro, Detreville St,
Comprosed of over 800 acres of braided creek and hardwood flats. The sanctuary offers boardwalks, bridges, bike and walking trails for viewing natural Lowcountry wildlife and beauty. Spanish Moss drips from Cypress trees and wildflowers abound as you pass a beaver pond, duck pond and butterfly garden. (843)538-4353
www.walterboro-wildlife-sanctuary
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Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary

Webb Wildlife Management Area

(Webb/Palachucola/WMA/Hamilton Ridge)
Hampton County. (803)625-3569,
Off Hwy. 321 bordering the historical Savannah River. The 25,000+ acres provide excellent viewing of deer, wild turkeys, bobwhite quail, gray squirrel and many types of birds. Several nature trails. Ponds available for fishing. Regulated hunting.

Webb Wildlife Management Area

Westvaco Nature Trail

Colleton County. (843)871-5000. Jacksonboro, SC.
This National Recreation Trail is located within the ACE Basin. Hikers can choose between a short or long looped trail. The scenic trail offers several historic features including an old phosphate operation, an old canal, rice fields, and an old railroad tram, all along the historic King’s Highway.  
scgreatoutdoors.com

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Westvaco Nature Trail