Peachtree Rock Nature Preserve – Unfiltered

Peachtree Rock

This Saturday our Lowcountry Unfiltered group gathered for its monthly outing. We rendezvoused just southwest of Columbia to explore the Peachtree Rock Nature Preserve, managed by the Nature Conservancy and the South Carolina Department of Natural Services. Dr. John Nelson, botanist at USC, director of the state’s Herbarium, and member of our group would serve as our guide for the day.

Lowcountry Unfiltered Gathers

In addition to John and myself, five others joined us.  We gathered at the entrance to the preserve at about 9:00, and got some preliminary information from John.  The area is one of the first set aside by the Nature Conservancy, and contains several unique habitat areas, including a long-leaf pine ecosystem.  The geology is also unusual. A hard layer of rock called ironstone covers softer layers of sandstone.  The sandstone has been eroding out from under the resistant upper layer, creating unique geological formations such as the namesake Peachtree Rock. Continue reading “Peachtree Rock Nature Preserve – Unfiltered”

A Flooded Trek through the Congaree Swamp

Lowcountry Unfilter at Congaree Swamp

For the second Saturday in a row I got up very early to head out on a photo trek, this time with the Lowcountry Unfiltered group to the Congaree National Park. Instead of paddling, this would be a hiking trek. I think we would have stayed drier if we had been in kayaks.

I left a foggy Greenville at 6:00 AM, with the plan to meet the rest of the group at the park between 8:00 and 8:30. It was a cold mid-30’s, but I was appropriately dressed. The forecast called for rain later in the day, so even though it was cold, I was glad we were getting an early start. Continue reading “A Flooded Trek through the Congaree Swamp”

Chasing the Swamp Rabbit

Railroad Car B&W

I had tons of work I needed to do around the house – cut grass, vacuum the floors, and blow the pollen off the decks and driveway. Instead, I loaded up my bike and drove up to the northern end of the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Travelers Rest.

The Swamp Rabbit Trail is part of the rails to trails movement, and is named for the former Greenville and Northern Railway that used to run from downtown Greenville to River Falls in the Jones Gap area. The railway got its nickname from the various wetlands it passed through. The plan is to pave the railway from Greenville to Travelers Rest, and to eventually run trams on the path on a regular schedule.

I parked at the Travelers Rest trailhead and headed south. At this point the trail is grassy and a bit bumpy. It passes through the middle of Travelers Rest, past TR Methodist, where Laura and I got married, and through the middle of a parking lot for several businesses. From there, the trail took a route more separate from the populated areas.

Continue reading “Chasing the Swamp Rabbit”