Free weekend fun in Walterboro: The Great Swamp, Artisans Center and Tuskegee Memorial

Great Swamp Sanctuary

The Great Swamp Sanctuary is South Carolina’s newest nature-based attraction providing the ultimate Lowcountry experience: a pristine black waters swamp filled with history, culture, recreation and education.

Kids walking on the Great Walterboro Swamp trails

Kids walking on the Great Walterboro Swamp trails

The swamp is located within the ACE Basin and its entrance is just minutes from I-95. At 842-acre, the Sanctuary is the East Coast’s largest estuarine preserve featuring the only “braided creek” swamp accessible to the public.

Fun things to do inside the Sanctuary
The swamp consists of hardwood flats abundant with wild turkey, deer, raccoons, otter, mink, opossum, squirrels, fox, and wildcats. There is a variety of song birds, wading birds, ducks, and predator birds.

Bird watching – Over 80 species have been observed including wild turkeys, wood ducks, warblers, wood storks, pileated woodpeckers, bald eagles, accipiters, buteos, falcons, owls and kinglets.

Beaver Dam at the Great Swamp Sanctuary

Beaver Dam at the Great Swamp Sanctuary

Hiking, walking, jogging and bicycling – There are miles of overland trails and boardwalks crossing the braided streams and the historic Charleston to Savannah wagon road.

A bicycle path follows an existing easement that will become a part of residential and the historic downtown area.

Canoeing and kayaking – 1.5 miles of Ireland Creek are navigable by shallow draft boats allowing you to enjoy the sanctuary or to learn to canoe in relative safety.

Lowcountry Preservation – The headwaters of the Ashepoo River originate in the sanctuary. The Charleston to Savannah wagon road runs through the heart of the sanctuary.
The decayed wooded bridges have been replaced with boardwalks and the road bed has become an integral part of the trails.

Gullah Dolls

Gullah Dolls

Now you can traverse the Old Wagon Stagecoach Road like our ancestors did hundreds of years ago!

Once rejuvenated outdoors soothe your spiritual cravings at the standout SC Artisans Center downtown Walterboro.

There are new artists showcased every year, from paintings to pottery, from glass to wooden toys. My favorites this time around were the Gullah and Kudzu-based crafts.

No visit to Walterboro is complete without a tribute stop at the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial. The Black Bird Men (as feared by the Germans), or the Red Tail Angels (as reveered by Americans) proved to be formidable pilots during WWII raids over Western Europe.

Make sure to also visit the Colleton County museum (also free to attend) housed in a hundred year old jail.

Hero Tuskegee pilot (photo by Hiram Mann)

Hero Tuskegee pilot (photo by Hiram Mann)

Be proud, healthy and curious in the ever mysterious Lowcountry!


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  1. […] Angels” at the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial and to relax at the Great Swamp Sanctuary. Inside this pristine estuary preserve you can watch a variety of birds, hike on miles of boardwalks, bike, canoe and even traverse the […]

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