I wandered over here shortly after some major flooding so the Congaree River was pretty high. At the nearby Bates Landing, water came up into the parking lot. Despite that, I still managed to get down from the bluff and take the trail along the river. Having never been there when the water is lower, I can’t say how it usually looks.
The web site describes this preserve as having steep, undisturbed bluffs and this is certainly the case. They have an overlook, an observation deck, with fantastic views of Congaree National Park and a canopy carpet of trees of the Congaree River plain. The trails here go through bottomland hardwood forest.
There are three trails here. They range from easy to strenuous. There’s the Ravine Walk (1.5 miles long), the Observation Walk (half a miles long), and the one mile long Bluff-River Walk. They are all networked together so you can pick and choose where you go and possibly walk along all three like I did. The Bluff-River Walk goes down a steep and uneven trail to the river. I thought it well worth it.
No bicycles or motorized vehicles are allowed. This being a heritage preserve no plants or animals can be removed. Bring the bug spray.
How to Get There: From US601, north on SC419, pass through Fort Motte. about a mile from Fort Motte, right on Turkey Track Lane. The preserve is on the left. There's parking at about a half mile in and another at one mile.
What’s Close By:
Congaree National Park
Bates Landing on US601