Cartwheel Bay Heritage Preserve

Trail Activities: t

  • Walk
  • Hike

Length:

3.5 miles

Type:

Normal

Surface:

Natural, Old Roads

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Features: t

  • Pets
  • No Fee
  • No Camping

Summary:

As you walk on these paths, look alongside the trail for white-fringed, yellow-fringed, and rosebud orchids and carnivorous plants such as the Venus’ fly traps and pitcher plants.

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From the Heritage Preserve sign you will walk mainly on old roads through a woody area populated by a mixture of long leaf and loblolly pines. The highlight of this area is the Cartwheel and Mossy Bays. Called Carolina Bays, they are oval or elliptical depressions of uncertain origin that are all oriented in the same direction. Some authorities speculate they were formed by shallow ocean currents, while others argue they are comet and meteor impact craters.

This is an excellent place for viewing birds and as many as thirteen different species of warbler including the black-and-white, Swainson’s, Kentucky, and hooded warblers have been seen. You may also see gray and fox squirrels, white-tailed deer, and wild turkeys. As you walk, look alongside the trail for white-fringed, yellow-fringed, and rosebud orchids and carnivorous plants such as the Venus’ fly traps and pitcher plants. At the edge of the bays, you may be fortunate enough to see the rare Wells pixie moss.

It is unlawful to remove any plants, animals, or artifacts from this site. Insect repellant is recommended in warm weather. Pets are permitted on a leash. No motorized vehicles or bicycles are allowed.

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Directions:

From Marion: Drive east on US 76 through Mullins and Nichols. Cross the Lumber River and stay on SC 9 when US 76 and SC 9 split. Drive 3.2 miles, and turn right onto Horry County Road (S-26-19). Drive approximately 3.4 miles and just past Bedford Road (S-26-389) on the left, turn right onto the dirt drive between two abandoned shacks. Drive approximately 1 mile and park at the green Heritage Preserve Sign. Do not block the road.

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South Carolina Department of Natural Resources | 420 Dirleton Road, Georgetown, SC 29440 | (843) 546-8119

DownloadCoordinates
KML fileTrail Segments (Paths)Lat: 34.15671000000000
Long: -79.08465000000000