Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve
Trail Activities: t
Trail Features: t
- Scenic Observation
- No Fee
- No Camping
This preserve supports and protects a forest of endangered longleaf pine and wire grass. You can walk on a mix of roads and trails.
You can walk on a mix of roads and trails, which take you through the northernmost habitat of the rare and State-listed endangered Gopher Tortoise, so named because its burrows may be 1520 deep. This preserve also supports and protects a forest of endangered longleaf pine and wire grass. As you walk you will also see turkey and blackjack oaks as well as a variety of wildflowers such as passion flower, prickly pear, gopherweed, butterfly pea, and polygonella. Other than the Gopher Tortoise you may see white-tailed deer, wild turkey, quail, fox squirrels, broadhead skinks, and a wide variety of birds.
Be alert for snakes, especially venomous copperheads and timber rattlesnakes. Insect repellent is recommended during the warm months. Horseback riding in groups no bigger than five is permitted. No motorized vehicles or bicycles allowed.
Hours: Dawn to duskDirections:
From Aiken: Drive south on US 78 for 12 miles to Windsor. Approximately 0.5 mile beyond the sign for Aiken State Park turn left onto Spring Branch Road (Aiken County S-2-212). Spring Branch becomes Windsor Road and dirt after approximately 1.4 miles.
To the south parking area: Continue on Windsor Road for another 2.0 miles and turn right onto Centerwood Road. Drive 1.4 miles and turn left onto Long Cane Road (Just past Spring Branch Church). The parking area will be on your left.
To the north parking area: Continue on Windsor Road for another 4.0 miles and turn right onto Oakridge Club Road. Drive 0.9 mile and the parking area is on the left.
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources | 1000 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201 | (803) 734-4080