Conservation Station / Hardwood Wetlands

Trail Activities: t

  • Walk
  • Hike


1.2 miles


Round Trip


Natural, Sand

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Features: t

  • Parking
  • Point of Interest
  • Trail Head
  • Pets
  • No Fee
  • No Camping


Clemson University opened its Sandhill facility in 1926 to conduct agricultural research and provide extension services. The almost 600-acre facility is home to several ecological systems that include longleaf pine and hardwood pocosin. There is a network of scenic and educational trails to enjoy.

Loading Trails

Enter Conservation Station through the wooden door in the lattice fence at the parking area, where a cool canopy of hickory and oak trees shades this short, easy-walking, loop trail. You will pass six educational kiosks that feature information about soil, geology, forestry, wildlife, air quality and water. At the water kiosk, you can walk out on the dock to view the lake habitat where you may see frogs, alligators, snakes, and other wildlife. From the lake you will walk up a knoll to the parking area to complete your hike. Children may enjoy the Pooh Garden playground near the parking area. Swimming, boating and fishing are not permitted. Insect repellant is recommended during warmer months. Pets are allowed on leashes.

For the Hardwood Wetlands Trail, walk toward the lake (from the parking area), pass around a gate, and begin to cross the earthen dam. You will see the sign for the trailhead on the right. Descend from the dam and cross a running stream via a wooden footbridge amid fern and ground foliage. Pine and hardwood trees provide shelter and food for wildlife including deer, and songbirds. At approximately .2 mile the trail splits to form a loop, and you will need to turn left at this junction. Several footpaths divert from the main trail, so watch for the markers to stay on the main trail. Just before you complete the loop, you will pass a bench where you can stop, rest, and just listen to the birds. Insect repellant, and proper footwear are recommended. Pets are allowed on leashes. Swimming, boating and fishing in the lake are not permitted.

Sandhill REC also features the Lake Loop, which links up with Conservation Station and Hardwood Wetlands Trails, as well as the Historic Pond House Trail.

Hours: 8 a.m. - dusk


From Columbia: Drive northeast on I-20 to Exit 80. Turn left on Clemson Road. Drive to the entrance to the Farmers Market (pass Two Notch Road exit) and turn right. Follow the sand road down the hill to the Children's Garden.

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Clemson Sandhill Research & Education Center | P.O. Box 23205, Columbia, SC 29224 | (803) 788-5700

KML fileTrail Segments (Paths)
Trail Features (Points of Interest)
Lat: 34.13566924866232
Long: -80.86318999867251