Congaree Bluffs Heritage Preserve
From the intersection of US 601 and SC 419 north of Saint Matthews turn west onto SC 419 and go 2.5 miles to the railroad tracks in Fort Motte. After crossing the tracks, continue straight for 1 mile to Turkey Track Lane. Turn right (north) onto Turkey Track Lane (a dirt road) and follow it for 0.95 miles. Here turn left just before the “Pennyworth Homes” sign and continue 0.1 miles to the parking lot.
Birds to look for
Wild Turkey, Anhinga (s), White Ibis (s), Wood Stork (August, September), Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey (s), Swallow-tailed Kite (August), Mississippi Kite (s), Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier (fall), Sharp-shinned Hawk (w), Cooper's Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk (s), Red-tailed Hawk, Golden Eagle (October, November), American Kestrel (fall), Merlin (fall), Peregrine Falcon (fall), Scarlet Tanager (fall), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (fall)
Congaree Bluffs Heritage Preserve protects bluffs on the south side of the Congaree River that rise about 90 feet above the river and its flood plain. An overlook deck has a great view of most of Congaree National Park. A hawk watch is conducted here (August through November).
There are trails into an interesting moist ravine forest and also down into the flood plain forest. The rest of the preserve is mostly a pine plantation. Plans are afoot to remove the loblolly pines and replace them with longleaf pines. When this happens the young longleaf pine forest should have some interesting birds.
Congaree Bluffs is a good companion site to Congaree National Park, since no part of the national park is south of the Congaree River where the high bluffs are.