Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hiking, Biking and Birding Trails of Colleton County

Entrance Signage with Wisteria in bloom
There may be no better time than spring to consider stretching one’s legs for the sake of exercise in the great outdoors. Cooler temperatures usually greet the morning hours, with flowers in bloom and wildlife stirring. The shape of Colleton County stretches across the Lowcountry like a slice of pie, from the saltwater of St. Helena Sound up to the hardwood bottoms of the Salkehatchie Swamp. Many hiking options exist within this county boundary, so here’s some directions to better visit with Mother Nature.

I made a trek to Bear Island last week to get off the beaten path, making a grand pilgrimage to glimpse the Great Kisakadee. The what? A rare bird sighting was all the buzz in late February drawing birdwatchers from across the state to the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Bennett’s Point. This 12,000-acre WMA is better known as a public duck hunting area, but once hunting season is over the roads and trails open to the public.

Miles of roads and trails await hiking, biking and birding
The Donnelly WMA property is located right on the ACE Basin parkway and also offers easy access for driving and hiking tours. The 2.2-mile Boynton Nature Trail is an optional place to stop and enjoy a detour from the driving course, and walk into the woods. The Boynton trail is named for the family that formerly owned this area and raised cattle there, and the entire 8,000-acre property is name after Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly of Chicago for their conservation efforts on behalf of the ACE Basin. Signage at the entrance of this WMA lists eight members of the cooperative initiative that served as the catalyst for this ongoing wildlife restoration project.


To view the feature story in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about the ACE Basin click 25th Anniversary

To view my most recent Birding Journal Observations click on Jan./Feb. 2017

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