Today marks the dedication of a new section of boardwalk in the Great Swamp Sanctuary, which lies within the Walterboro city limits. This 842-acre section of swamp is home to the braided stream habitat that is one thread in the fabric of our Lowcountry bottomland hardwoods. The Great Swamp is the headwaters of what becomes the Ashepoo River, one of the three tributaries that make up the ACE. The Ashepoo is smaller than the Combahee and the Edisto which means that the headwaters are that much more important to preserve and protect. Doctor's Creek and Jones Swamp flow into the Great Swamp Sanctuary from Western Colleton County and MUCH more must be done to raise awareness about how water quality issues in these headwaters are vital for the future of the ACE Basin. The Great Swamp Sanctuary (GSS) is easy to access (it's about one hour from either Charleston or Beaufort) and offers hiking and biking trails, and even a canoe or kayak launch dock. The swamp has an open understory due to its mature tree canopy, and the trees should continue to mature now that they have been protected with park status. A bit of history resides in the Great Swamp in the form of the Colonial Era stagecoach roadbed that once guided travelers from Charleston to Savannah. Building more boardwalks and increasing citizen access will continue and the Great Swamp hopes to build an environmental education facility on the site one day, and a Friends of the GSS group has been set up to aid in fundraising. The latest 300-yard section of the boardwalk was paid for with grant money from the S.C. Heritage Corridor fund. For a two-minute video with sights and sounds of the swamp click here. To visit the City of Walterboro's GSS webpage click here.
PhotosByJeffDennis: The brand new boardwalk in the GSS; the base of a cypress tree that is sure to grow larger; No hunting is allowed in the GSS