Wildlife Preserves and Nature Trails in Lowcountry
“Take only pictures, leave only footprints”
South Carolina Lowcountry Wildlife Preserves, Nature Trails and Sights
ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve System
More than 140,000 acres of winding tidal creeks, salt marshes, barrier and marsh islands. Home to many endangered or threatened species such as Loggerhead Sea Turtles and Southern bald eagles. Research information (843)844-8822. http://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/NERR Tours (843)521-3099.
Audubon Newhall Preserve
Beaufort County. (843)785-5775
Palmetto Bay Rd., Hilton Head Island.
50 acre preserve where native plant life & many different species of birds have been identified.
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.
Blue Heron Nature Trail
Walking tour of Lowcountry Wetlands.
View wildlife. Exit 21, Ridgeland
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.
Coastal Discovery Museum of Hilton Head Island
Beaufort County. (843)689-6767, http://www.coastaldiscovery.org/
Variety of land-based and water-based tours to educate about the habitat and eco-system of the area. Beach walks, water and marsh tours, cruises of ACE Basin.
Cypress Creek Wildlife Management Area
Hampton/Jasper Counties. (843)726-6775
4605 acres northwest of Grays between Highways 3 and 278. Deer, wild turkey and small game. Regulated hunting.
Donnelley Wildlife Management Area
An 8,048 acre diversity of wetland and upland habits including: rice fields, forested wetland, tidal marsh, and upland forest types.
Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary
Walterboro, Detreville St, (843)538-4353.
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. https://www.walterborosc.org/walterboro-wildlife-sanctuary
James M. Waddell, Jr. Mariculture Research and Development Center
211 Sawmill Creek Rd. off Hwy. 278. http://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/mrri/waddell/index.html
One of the largest facilities in the world for fish and shrimp farming and mariculture potential. By appointment only.
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. http://www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov/ourisland/Parks/parksandfacdetails.cfm?FacilityID=14
Marsh Boardwalks at Hunting Island State Park
Beaufort County. (843)838-2011. https://southcarolinaparks.com/hunting-island
Stroll through 200 yards of salt marsh environment and overlook Johnson Creek.
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.
Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge
Beaufort County. (843)784-9911, http://www.fws.gov/pinckneyisland/
Off Hwy 278 past Graves Bridge, Hilton Head Island. (912)452-4415. 4,052 acres that preserve the salt marsh and maritime habitat.
Port Royal Cypress Wetlands Walking Trail
Beaufort County. (843)986-2211, http://www.portroyal.org/index.html
Paris Avenue, Port Royal. Cypress wetland is viewed along boardwalks surrounding nesting grounds for shore birds.
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, http://www.fws.gov/savannah/
Spanish Mount Trail at Edisto Beach State Park
Edisto Island, (843)869-4430. this four mile self-interpretive nature trail winds through a maritime forest and includes an ancient Indian shell mound.
Tillman Sand Ridge Wildlife Management Area
Jasper County. (803)625-3569.
5 miles west of Tillman on Hwy S-17-119. This 952-acre tract protects the endangered Gopher Tortoise. By appointment only.
Turtle Island Wildlife Management Area
Jasper County. (803)625-3569,
Boat access only between Daufuskie Island and Savannah. 1700 acres of salt marsh, maritime forest and barrier beach. By appointment only. Regulated hunting.
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. By appointment only. Regulated hunting.
Webb Wildlife Management Area
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.
Westvaco Nature Trail
Colleton County. (843)871-5000. Jacksonboro, SC. This trail features fauna, flora and historical landmarks such as the Old King’s Highway (dating from 1700), old rice field banks and an old phosphate plant site.