Tuesday, January 22, 2013


* Now read Pluff Mud Kids special feature every third Monday at www.charlestoncurrents.com!

This picture pretty much sums up the beauty we discovered at Dungannon Plantation Heritage Preserve in Hollywood, SC. We stumbled on this new adventure completely by chance through a recommendation from a local, and I can't wait to share it with you.

Venture to Hollywood and you will spot this sign from the road (162), but you have to look carefully. There is a small pine needle parking area. Dungannon is a massive 643 acre property that provides a natural haven to many species of local birds. The wood stork is a key focus here as they have begun to nest here in the last few decades due to a pressing need for precious wetland areas.

Once you park, you will immediately discover the conveniently posted map of the trails. Take a copy and be sure to also take along some water, snacks, and bug spray.

The trail out to the boardwalk overlooking the water is easy to follow and is about 4 miles round-trip.

There are some incredible trees and your children will be amazed by the towering limbs that seem to stretch like massive arms reaching out and upward. The day we hiked this trail was one of the Lowcountry's finest with a warm breeze rushing through the tops of the loblolly  pine trees.

Rounding a bend in the trail, you will discover the most amazing sight - there is an astounding 320 acres of bald cypress-tupelo swamp here. I can't describe how eerie and still it is and seemly frozen in time.

When you arrive at the boardwalk, there are posted warnings regarding alligators. As you can see, they are very content in this habitat.

Dungannon is well worth putting on your list of places to hike and is a perfect spot for guests who want to experience a truly beautiful southern swamp. Allow 2 to 3 hours to take it all in!

Dungannon Plantation Heritage Preserve click here for map
Hollywood, SC
Parking: free
No ammenities, no restrooms
Food and Drink- there is a Subway and a Publix nearby in Hollywood
Pets welcome, bring your own bag for waste
PMK tip- I would not recommend this walk for a mother alone with her children as it is very secluded.

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