Botany Bay Plantation Tour Route

Trail Activities: t

  • Hike
  • Bike
  • Equestrian

Length:

6.5 miles

Type:

Network

Surface:

Dirt, Sand, Natural

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Features: t

  • Parking
  • Information Sign
  • Scenic Observation
  • Point of Interest
  • Trail Head
  • Handicap Access
  • Picnic Area
  • Pets
  • No Fee
  • No Camping

Summary:

This Wildlife Management Area exhibits many characteristics common to sea islands along the southeast coast: pine hardwood forests, agricultural fields, coastal wetlands and a barrier island with a beachfront. Only this tract has been left undisturbed, providing coastal habitat for a wide range of wildlife species.

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This preserve is located approximately 45 miles south of Charleston and exhibits many characteristics common to sea islands along the southeast coast: pine hardwood forests, agricultural fields, coastal wetlands and a barrier island with a beachfront. Only this tract has been left undisturbed, providing coastal habitat for a wide range of wildlife species, including loggerhead sea turtles, the state-threatened least tern and neo-tropical songbirds like the painted bunting and summer tanager.

Botany Bay is very accessible—you can tour most of the property in half a day or less. Simply pick up a free self-guided driving tour guide at the information kiosk and you’re on your way. The 6.5-mile route begins along a magnificent avenue of oaks interspersed with loblolly pine and cabbage palmetto, the state tree. Look for colonies of resurrection fern growing on the spreading oak limbs. After a rain, the leaves of the resurrection ferns turn a beautiful bright green. The Tour Route offers excellent wildlife viewing for those traveling by bike or horseback, as well. 

When you get to the four-way stop, turn right into the beach access parking lot. There you’ll find the trailhead to the Pockoy Island Trail. If you continue on the Tour Route, stay on the beach access road until you get to another parking area just past the four-way stop. It’s a short walk from here to two small buildings built in the 1800s. The road then takes a couple of sharp 90-degree turns, winding along the salt marsh and offering spectacular views of Ocella Creek. This section also features lots of century-old live oaks draped in Spanish moss. The final section of the driving tour features the remains of the Sea Cloud Plantation house and a brick beehive built by slaves in the 1700s as a source of drinking water.

The area is open for general public visitation during daylight hours (a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset). The area is closed on Tuesdays and for scheduled special hunts.

Horseback riding by permit only, on roads open to vehicular traffic and areas specifically designated for horse riding. No groups larger than ten (10) horses. All dikes are closed to horseback riding. No horseback riding during scheduled deer, turkey and hog hunting except Sunday. Free permits are available at kiosks. Permit must be in possession while riding and data cards completed and returned to the kiosks upon leaving the area. No horses or dogs are allowed on the beach or the causeway to the beach. 

Photos courtesy of Perry Baker and Wendy Pitts Reeves.

Directions:

To reach the entrance of Botany Bay Plantation WMA, travel down SC Highway 174 toward Edisto Beach and turn left onto Botany Bay Road, which is about 8.5 miles south of the McKinley Washington Bridge. Follow this dirt road two miles to near where it dead-ends. Turn left at the gate into the property. The kiosk at the main gate contains maps and other important information.

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South Carolina Department of Natural Resources | 585 Donnelley Drive, Green Pond, SC 29446 | (843) 844-8957

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KML fileTrail Segments (Paths)
Trail Features (Points of Interest)
Lat: 32.54951222312096
Long: -80.24811452359599