Peachtree Rock Nature Preserve
Phone: (803) 254-9049
Peachtree Rock Nature Preserve features a curiously diverse set of ecosytems on a 305-acre tract of land ranging from desert to mountain. Contact the South Carolina Nature Conservancy at (803) 254-9049 for more information. No admission fee.
The Peachtree Rock itself is an inverted pyramid of stone located near the end of the entrance trail. To some, the inverted shape looks like a pruned peach tree. It has stood for millions of years and was created when this area was oceanfront. The preserve has many stone outcroppings rich in marine fossils; look for small vertical tunnels. These are the fossilized burrows of marine worms. If you look closely, you can find fossilized snail and clam shells as well as shrimp.
The preserve also boasts the only natural waterfall in the midlands. Take beach shoes and let the kids play in the stream to cool off. You can see why this area is a nture preserve by noticing the extremes in plant growth- many moisture-loving plants can be seen in the waterfall area while more desert-type plants can be seen in the drier areas. The sandstone formations remind many of the canyons and desrt formations of the West on a smaller scale.
Several hiking trails highlight the interesting and unusual scenery. The orange marked trail is 1 mile while the blue marked trail is 1 1/2 miles. Camping is not permitted, and there are no paved roads, no picnic tables, no restrooms, and no trash cans. This is definitely an area protected in its natural state. Bring plenty of water and plan to carry out any trash you carry in. Don't forget the bug repellant!
To get there, take SC 302 south past the airport until SC 6 veers off to the left toward Swansea. Look for signs for Bethel United Methodist Church and follow them to the left. At the stop sign, take a right onto Peachtree Rock Rd. (a dirt road) and the parking lot entrance will be on your left.