Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve
From the intersection of US 601 and SC 903 (north of Kershaw and east of Lancaster), go north on US 601 for 1.5 miles. Here turn left onto Road 27, Nature Reserve Road and go north about a half mile to the lower parking lot on the left (west). To reach the upper parking area, which is much closer to the rock outcropping, continue north on Road 27 for 2.5 miles from US 601. Here turn left (west) onto Conservancy Road and follow it to its end.
Birds to look for
Canada Goose, Wood Duck, American Black Duck (w), Mallard (w), Hooded Merganser (w), American Woodcock, Yellow-billed Cuckoo (s), Eastern Phoebe, Blue-headed Vireo, Red-breasted Nuthatch (w), Brown-headed Nuthatch, Brown Creeper (w), Winter Wren (w), Wood Thrush (s), Northern Parula (s), Yellow-rumped Warbler (w), Black-throated Green Warbler (m), Yellow-throated Warbler (s), Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler (s), Palm Warbler (m), Black-and-white Warbler (s), American Redstart (s), Prothonotary Warbler (s), Worm-eating Warbler (s), Ovenbird (s), Northern Waterthrush (m), Louisiana Waterthrush (s), Kentucky Warbler (s), Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler (s), Yellow-breasted Chat (s), Summer Tanager (s), Scarlet Tanager (s), Eastern Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Fox Sparrow (w), Song Sparrow (w), Swamp Sparrow (w), White-throated Sparrow (w), Dark-eyed Junco (w), Indigo Bunting (s), Blue Grosbeak (s), Orchard Oriole (s), American Goldfinch
Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve is one of the best birding spots on the Piedmont of South Carolina. Located right on the Fall Line a few miles north of the town of Kershaw, in Lancaster County, this large preserve protects much more than the granite outcroppings which constitute the “rock” part of Forty Acre Rock. Other habitats include a Piedmont floodplain forest (along Flat Creek), perhaps the largest beaver pond in the state, Piedmont cove hardwood forests, and various early successional habitats (such as a powerline right of way). A system of trails and boardwalks gives easy access. This area is worth a visit any time of year, not just in early spring when even a hard-core birder will take notice of one of the most beautiful wildflower displays in the state.
One easy way to get a look at Flat Creek and its floodplain forest is to hike along the abandoned roadway of old US 601. From the main parking lot go south along the paved secondary road to old US 601. Here you can easily hike a few hundred yards through second growth oak pinewoods to the floodplain. Follow old US 601 over the old bridge and up the steep hill on the south side of Flat Creek. When you have gone as far as you like retrace your way back to the parking lot.