Smack in the middle of the Palmetto State, just 30 minutes outside Columbia in Lexington County, stands the Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve. Home to the largest sandstone outcroppings in the state, the Peachtree rocks are unusual formations that originated when oceans once washed over the midlands of S.C. leaving beach-like sand and marine fossils. If you’re a botany enthusiast like me, you’ll appreciate the preserve for its unique ecosystem. The easy 2.3-mile loop is well maintained and the trail is canopied by native longleaf pines that tower overhead. The preserve is also home to the coastal plains only waterfall, a tupelo-evergreen shrub bog, and the federally endangered Rayner’s blueberry.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to have first visited Peachtree 10 years ago before a*%holes, I mean vandals, carved through and toppled the landmark inverted pyramid sandstone. The Nature Conservancy and S.C. DNR has left the formation on its side for visitors to marvel at. A similar, smaller formation, known as “Little Peachtree Rock” still stands for all to enjoy.
The Nature Conservancy offers free downloads for plant and bird identification for you to take with you on your hike at Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve. You can access these, learn more and make a donation at Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve.
Check back for my third installment of The Adventures of Ginger & Rocky (Part 3) where we camp and fish at the deepest, coldest and most stunningly beautiful lake in all of South Carolina.
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