Audubon Center & Sanctuary at the Francis Beidler Forest

Old-growth Cypress-tupelo Swamp
Mark Musselman, Audubon South Carolina

Come and experience the most historic location in the Charleston area! Visit us at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest--the ancient trees, the wildlife, and the quiet flow of blackwater all await you. Frequented by nature photographers from all over for its unique landscape and dynamic ecosystem, the swamp at Beidler Forest offers a beauty unsurpassed by any other nature sanctuary in the South Carolina lowcountry.

Beidler Forest sits within the Four Holes Swamp, a 45,000-acre matrix of black water sloughs and lakes, shallow bottomland hardwoods, and deep bald cypress and tupelo gum flats. Four Holes Swamp is also a major tributary of the Edisto River, part of the Charleston area's famous ACE basin. Over 16,000 of the swamp's acres are owned by the National Audubon Society and make up what is known as the Francis Beidler Forest, which is less than an hour from Charleston and Columbia and located just north of I-26 outside the town of Harleyville, SC. It is easily accessed from either I-26 East or West, as well as I-95

Beidler Forest was originally established to preserve 1,800 acres of old-growth swamp forest, one of only two such stands still left in the state. A visitor center, 1.75-mile boardwalk trail, and a canoe and kayak trail for naturalist-guided paddling tours provide visitors the chance to explore deep within the swamp's interior. The visitor center, restrooms and boardwalk are all wheelchair accessible. One electric and one traditional wheelchair are available to borrow.

For more details (including admission and hours), maps, images, and activities, please visit the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest webpage.

Copyright  2013 National Audubon Society, Inc