Greenville Field Trip Schedule and Descriptions
|Friday, Sept 28
||Saturday, Sept 29
|Trip #1||Paris Mountain State Park – 7:15 AM |
|Trip #2||Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Pres. – 7:15 AM|
|Trip #3||N. Greenville County Lakes Tour – 7:15 AM|
|Trip #4||Lake Conestee Nature Park – 7:30 AM|
|Trip #5||The Wilson Farm – 7:30 AM|
|Trip #6||Tour of Greenville: Falls Park on the Reedy and Cleveland Park – 7:30 AM ||
|Trip #18||Paris Mountain State Park – 7:15 AM|
|Trip #19||Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Pres. – 7:15 AM
|Trip #20||N. Greenville County Lakes Tour – 7:15 AM |
|Trip #21||Lake Conestee Nature Park – 7:30 AM |
|Trip #22||The Wilson Farm – 7:30 AM|
|Trip #23||Tour of Greenville: Falls Park on the Reedy and Cleveland Park – 7:30 AM |
|Trip #7||Townville – 1:00 PM |
|Trip #8||Paris Mountain State Park – 1:00 PM|
|Trip #9||Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Pres. – 1:00 PM|
|Trip #10||N. Greenville County Lakes Tour – 1:00 PM |
|Trip #11||Lake Conestee Nature Park – 1:15 PM|
|Trip #12||Tour of Greenville: Falls Park on the Reedy and Cleveland Park – 1:15 PM ||
|Trip #24||Townville – 1:00 PM|
|Trip #25|| Paris Mountain State Park – 1:00 PM|
|Trip #26||Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Pres. – 1:00 PM|
|Trip #27||N. Greenville County Lakes Tour – 1:00 PM|
|Trip #28||Lake Conestee Nature Park – 1:15 PM|
|Trip #29||Tour of Greenville: Falls Park on the Reedy and Cleveland Park – 1:15 PM|
|Trip #13||Sassafras Mt. & Nine Times Pres. – 6:15 AM|
|Trip #14||Table Rock SP & Mt. Bridge Wilderness – 6:30 AM|
|Trip #15||Townville & Clemson Area Tour – 6:30 AM|
|Trip #16||Blue Wall Preserve and FENCE – 6:45 AM|
|Trip #17||Spartanburg Hotspots: The Cottonwood Trail and Croft State Natural Area – 6:45 AM ||
|Trip #30|| Sassafras Mt. & Nine Times Pres. – 6:15 AM|
|Trip #31||Table Rock SP &Mt. Bridge Wilderness – 6:30 AM|
|Trip #32||Townville & Clemson Area Tour – 6:30 AM|
|Trip #33||Blue Wall Preserve and FENCE – 6:45 AM|
|Trip #34||Spartanburg Hot Spots: The Cottonwood Trail and Croft State Natural Area – 6:45 AM|
|6:15 PM – Social Gathering|
|7:00 PM – Welcome and Announcements|
|7:45 PM – Evening Presentation: Mr. Clay Bolt||
|6:30 PM – Dinner Buffet|
|7:30 PM – Announcements and Introductions|
|7:45 PM – Evening Presentation: Dr. Patrick McMillan|
|8:30 PM – Species Round-up|
Driving distances and access conditions described for each field trip are estimates and are provided for your general planning purposes. Any changes, or more accurate directions, may be provided during the meeting.
All field trip participants should plan to carpool as much as possible. This will help minimize the chances of getting separated on busy roads, ease vehicle congestion at our trip destinations, and will help to conserve gas!
All trips are scheduled to depart from the parking lots of our host hotel.
Participants are reminded to bring a packed lunch and drinks on all-day trip outings.
Greenville Meeting Field Trip Descriptions
- Trips 1, 8, 18 and 25: Paris Mountain State Park
Paris Mountain is a familiar natural landmark to all in the Greenville area. This prominent formation is called a “monadnock”, an isolated small mountain that rises abruptly from the surrounding Piedmont plain. It is also the location of a popular state park that is rich in natural diversity and steeped in history. Originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the park contains watersheds that once provided a vital source of water for residents of Greenville. Today, the park and its facilities serve as a popular retreat for day use, camping and outdoor recreation. It is particularly known for its excellent array of environmental education programs. We will explore a few of the many walking trails here to sample the diverse birdlife of the mature mixed pine-hardwood forests. These beautiful forests, stream corridors, and ponds provide excellent habitat for a variety of resident and migratory songbirds including Red-eyed Vireo, Wood Thrush, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Ovenbird, Scarlet Tanager and many others. Time allowing, we may also visit the education center where interactive exhibits explain the park's importance as a watershed.
Approximate driving distance: 13 miles one way
Facilities: Public restrooms will be available.
Access conditions: Moderate walking on natural surface trails and on uneven terrain.
- Trips 2, 9, 19 and 26: Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve
Located near the town of Traveler's Rest, the 178-acre Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve was acquired by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for the purposes of protecting the federally-endangered Bunched Arrowhead (Sagittaria fasciculata), a plant found in wetland seeps within Piedmont seepage forest habitats. Other rare plants that occur here include the Dwarf-flowered Heartleaf (Hexastylis naniflora) and the unusual Climbing Fern (Lygodium palmatum). This special place also contains diverse habitats that support an excellent variety of birds. We will spend most of our time exploring the brushy and grassy fields, upland mixed pine-hardwood forests, and bottomland hardwoods from a 1.25-mile loop trail that begins and ends at the parking lot. Along the way we hope to see such birds as Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-eyed Vireo, White-eyed Vireo, migrant wood warblers including Palm, Black-and-white, and Common Yellowthroat; Field Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting and many others.
Approximate driving distance: 20 miles one way
Facilities: No public restrooms on site, though one is available at a nearby gas station.
Access conditions: Moderate. Walking primarily on natural surface trails along possible uneven terrain with some overgrown conditions.
- Trips 3, 10, 20 and 27: North Greenville County Lakes Driving Tour
This half-day tour is designed for those seeking shorter walks and provides an excellent opportunity for sampling the birdlife associated with some of north Greenville County's lakes. Our first destination will be the Lake Cunningham Recreation Area. Here we will take a short walk around the parking area and boardwalk examining the shoreline habitat and open water for any species that may be present. Our next stop is Berry's Millpond, a 100-year old reservoir that once powered the historic Berry's Mill, established in 1820. We will explore this beautiful location during a short 30-minute walk and may also visit an adjacent historic fish hatchery. From there we will travel to nearby Lake Robinson to check out the area near the dam followed by a brief exploration of a nice wetland area near the upper end of that lake. During our trip we hope to find such species as Osprey, possible migrating Caspian Tern, wading birds, and early-arriving waterfowl such as Blue-winged Teal along with a host of migrant and resident songbirds.
Approximate driving distance: 21 miles to Lake Cunningham - 7 miles to Berry's Millpond- 6 miles to Lake Robinson - 20 miles back to the Holiday Inn
Facilities: Public restrooms
Access conditions: Relatively short and easy walks.
- Trips 4, 11, 21 and 28: Lake Conestee Nature Park
Located near downtown Greenville and a very short drive from our hotel, Lake Conestee Nature Park has gained the reputation of being one of the premiere birding hot-spots in upstate South Carolina. The great number of birds that occurs here, more than 170 species have been sighted, is supported in part by the diversity of habitat types including lake, pine and mixed deciduous woodlands, transitional fields, and the Reedy River floodplain with its extensive associated wetlands. Species that occur here include a variety of waterfowl such as Wood Duck, several species of wading birds, and a significant diversity of songbirds including numerous Neotropical migrants and a wintering population of Rusty Blackbird (not likely to be present during our visit). We will explore this 400-acre natural area from a well-maintained system of paved and natural surface walking trails and board-walks. Along the way, we hope to encounter a variety of migrants such as Swainson's Thrush, a number of wood warblers including Northern Parula, American Redstart, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia and others as well as Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
Approximate driving distance: 2.0 miles
Facilities: Public restrooms
Access conditions: Easy to moderate walking on constructed boardwalks, paved and natural surface trails.
- Trips 5 and 22: The Wilson Farm
Located in the rolling hills of northern Greenville County near the town of Marietta, the Wilson Farm is a privately owned 1,300-acre tract that is managed for wildlife. The farm supports a diversity of habitat types including fields, mixed upland woodlands, ponds and stream corridors that attract a diversity of birdlife. We will search for any resident and migratory species that may be present including possible Red-tailed Hawk, Gray Catbird, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting and others.
Approximate driving distance: 24 miles one way
Facilities: No public restrooms are available at Wilson Farm.
Access conditions: Moderate walking on natural surface trails and on uneven terrain.
- Trips 6, 12, 23 and 29: A Tour of Greenville - Falls Park on the Reedy and Cleveland Park
This half-day tour provides participants the opportunity to bird some of the natural gems near the center of downtown Greenville. Falls Park on the Reedy, located in the city's historic West End, is one of Greenville's greatest treasures, with the most striking feature being the Liberty Bridge. This unique 355-foot long pedestrian suspension bridge curves around the impressive Reedy River Falls, providing exceptional views of the area. In our search for birds, we will visit the park's many beautiful features including scenic overlooks, walking paths amid landscaped gardens, and old mill ruins. Later we will also visit Cleveland Park, a popular and diverse city park located in downtown Greenville that was first developed in 1928. Here, we will search for migrant songbirds in the park's forests and gardens and along some of the developed trails including the one-mile long Fern-wood Trail that winds through a mature hardwood forest. After our tour, participants may also wish to visit the local downtown restaurants and shops, if they so desire.
Approximate driving distance: 4.3 miles to Falls Park on the Reedy. 4.2 miles to Cleveland Park.
Facilities: Public restrooms
Access conditions: Moderate walking conditions along developed trails with some steps and uneven footing.
- Trips 7 and 24: Townville
The Townville area has long been recognized by birders as one of the top birding “hot-spots” in upstate South Carolina. Over the years, a number of rarities have been found here, and the area has consistently supported populations of species uncommon to South Carolina including White-crowned Sparrow and Brewer's Blackbird in winter and a breeding population of Dickcissel in summer. We will search the agricultural fields and farm ponds along Dobbins Road for possible migrant shorebirds, Horned Lark, and sparrows as well as other open country species. We will also check the waterfowl ponds at the Beaverdam Wildlife Management Area and nearby wetlands for any early-arriving waterfowl that may be present, as well as the possibility of a migrating rail such as Sora. Along the way, we should pick up an interesting variety of Neotropical migrants including a number of wood warblers. This itinerary is very similar to the morning portion of the all-day Townville and Clemson Area Tour, but is designed to offer participants the opportunity to explore highlights of this wonderful area in the afternoon and within a shorter timeframe.
Approximate driving distance: 38 miles to Townville with some additional driving locally.
Facilities: No public restrooms at our destination, though we may stop at a local gas station.
Access conditions: Roadside birding as well as easy to moderate walking on uneven terrain.
- Trip 13, 30: Sassafras Mountain and Nine Times Preserve
At 3,560 feet Sassafras Mountain is the highest point in South Carolina and is a long-visited destination by birders seeking such mountain species as Ruffed Grouse, Common Raven and a variety of Neotropical songbirds typical of the mid-elevation Southern Appalachian forest. This scenic location will be one of our primary stops as we search for these and other birds. We will also visit the recently acquired Nine Times Preserve that is owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy. This 560-acre biologically-significant preserve harbors a number of forest types and unique rock outcrop plant communities that supports a diverse assemblage of native wildflowers and wildlife. We hope to find a variety of Neotropical species like Swainson's Thrush, Tennessee Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, tanagers and grosbeaks. Part of our time here will be spent exploring the different plant communities along the recently constructed 1.7 mile trail. During the course of our tour, we will make other roadside stops and search cultivated fields and woodlands in the Eastatoe Creek area.
Approximate driving distances: 44 miles to Sassafras Mountain - 19 miles to Nine Times Preserve - 31 miles to the Holiday Inn along with some additional local driving.
Facilities: Public restrooms availability is very limited, though we will seek a stop along the way.
Access conditions: Moderate walking conditions along natural surface trails and on uneven terrain with some possible steep inclines.
- Trip 14, 31: Table Rock State Park and Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area
One of upstate South Carolina's most iconic natural landmarks, Table Rock Mountain provides a scenic backdrop to visitors traveling on SC Highway 11. Designated as an Important Bird Area, Table Rock State Park is home to such species as Peregrine Falcons, Ruffed Grouse, Common Raven and a variety of nesting Neotropical songbirds. We will spend the morning in this beautiful natural setting, exploring some of the lower-elevation woodlands and stream corridors for migrant songbirds, particularly transient wood warblers. The 3000-acre state park supports much bird diversity and provides scenic vistas along with fine examples of historic architecture from the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps. From here, we will travel to Caesars Head State Park, part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. This special natural resource has a bird list of nearly 170 species, and during our early afternoon visit we will stop at the Caesars Head hawk watch. Here, we will search the sky for migrating kettles of Broad-winged Hawks and other raptors including Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and others. The length of our hawk watch activity will depend on conditions and bird activity. Caesars Head is an excellent location for migrating songbirds, and we plan to also spend some time searching for these as well. Our picnic lunch stop will be at one of the state park picnic areas.
Approximate Travel Distances: 37 miles to Table Rock - 16 miles to Caesars Head - 38 miles to Holiday Inn.
Facilities: Public restrooms are available at Table Rock State Park and at Caesars Head.
Access conditions: Moderate walking on uneven terrain. Depending on weather conditions, participants should prepare for full sun exposure at the Caesars Head hawk watch.
- Trip 15, 32: Townville and Clemson Area Tour
The Townville area has long been recognized by birders as one of the top birding “hot-spots” in upstate South Carolina. Over the years, a number of rarities have been found here, and the area has consistently supported populations of species uncommon to South Carolina including White-crowned Sparrow and Brewer's Blackbird in winter and a breeding population of Dickcissel in summer. We will search the agricultural fields and farm ponds along Dobbins Road for migrant shorebirds, Horned Larks, and sparrows as well as other open country species that might be present. We will also check the waterfowl ponds at the Beaverdam Wildlife Management Area and nearby wetlands for any early-arriving waterfowl that may be present, as well as possible migrating rails such as Sora. Along the way, we should also pick up a variety of Neotropical migrants including a number of wood warblers. Later, we plan to visit a portion of the Clemson Experimental Forest that is managed for the purpose of providing sustainable forest practices, habitat diversity, species protection, education and recreational access. This site offers excellent birding conditions, and we will explore some of the prime areas for migrants. During the course of our tour, and if time allows, we may also visit additional local birding hot-spots along the way.
Approximate driving distances: 38 miles to Townville - 18 miles to Clemson Experimental Forest - 38 miles to the Holiday Inn, along with additional local driving.
Facilities: Public restrooms are limited, though we will strive to make a stop along the way.
Access conditions: Roadside birding along with moderate walking conditions on natural surfaced trails, woods roads and on uneven terrain.
- Trips 16 and 33: The Blue Wall Preserve and FENCE
Located near Landrum in the northeast corner of Greenville County, the Blue Wall Preserve was acquired by the Nature Conservancy in 1997 and is part of a mosaic of protected lands within the Blue Ridge Escarpment of the Southern Appalachians that totals more than 20,000 acres. Designated by the Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area, this pre-serve protects a diverse assemblage of plant communities that includes upland hardwoods, successional pine forests and open water lakes. In this beautiful landscape, we will seek out such birds as migrant vireos and thrushes, wood warblers including Black-throated Blue, American Redstart, Magnolia, and Hooded as well as Scarlet Tanager and Rose-breasted Grosbeak along with a variety of others. This trip will also include a visit to the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, better known as FENCE. This non-profit nature and outdoor recreation center contains 384 acres of attractive hardwood forests, meadows and wetlands and is managed for the purposes of nature studies, outdoor recreation and equestrian competition. Time allowing, we may also visit other local birding spots in the Lake Lanier area.
Approximate driving distances: 39 miles to the Blue Wall Preserve - 8 miles to FENCE - 45 miles to Holiday Inn.
Facilities: Public restrooms are available at FENCE.
Access Conditions: Trail conditions vary from moderate walking on uneven terrain to developed natural surface trails.
- Trips 17 and 34: Spartanburg Hotspots - Cottonwood Trail and Croft State Natural Area
Located minutes from downtown Spartanburg, the Cottonwood Trail Preserve is an urban gem, protecting a 1.5-mile stretch of Lawson's Fork Creek and several of its tributaries. This urban green space was first acquired through the efforts of The Spartanburg Area Conservancy, or SPACE, and is important as a water quality buffer in a fast-growing region. Recognized as a regional birding “hot-spot”, particularly during migration, the site contains many interesting and diverse natural habitats such as upland hardwoods, floodplain forests, open space and wetlands. We also plan to visit Croft State Natural Area, a 7,000-acre state park just outside of Spartanburg. Formerly the site of an Army infantry training camp, this state park contains an interesting diverse mix of habitats including upland mixed pine-hardwood forests, bottomland hardwoods and wetlands associated with Fairforest Creek and Lake Tom Moore Craig. Species we hope to find during this tour include such birds as Red-headed Woodpecker, Blue-headed Vireo, Swainson's Thrush, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Cape May Warbler, American Redstart, Summer Tanager, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and many others. Depending on time, we may also visit another local birding site as well.
Approximate driving distance: 35 miles to the Cottonwood Trail - 10.5 miles to Croft State Natural Area - 41 miles to the Holiday Inn.
Facilities: Public restrooms are available at Croft State Natural Area.
Access conditions: Moderate walking mainly on natural surface trails with possible uneven terrain and some constructed boardwalks.