Marie McAden



Naturalists lead hike through Santee Coastal Reserve

Posted 11/29/2012 1:35:00 PM

Catch the early birds migrating through the Lowcountry this winter as part of a guided hike through the Santee Coastal Reserve, a 24,000-acre wildlife sanctuary known for its diversity of habitats.

The three-hour walk, led by two naturalists, is being offered Dec. 1 by Nature Adventures Outfitters. Participants will have the chance to see dozens of over-wintering and migrating birds up close and with spotting scopes as they hike through marsh and woodlands trails.

Located in McClellanville, the Wildlife Management Area features uplands, abandoned rice fields and freshwater, brackish and tidal wetlands that draw a wide variety of waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds. The Washo Reserve, owned by The Nature Conservancy, supports one of the largest Wood stork rookeries on the East Coast. One of the best places for bird viewing is along the reserve’s 500-foot boardwalk.

In addition, long-leaf pine and other forested areas within the sanctuary are home to colonies of the endangered Red-cockaded woodpecker, songbirds, raptors, butterflies, fox squirrels and other small mammals.

After the bird hike, the group will explore the hidden ruins of El Dorado, one of a number of rice plantations that now make up the Santee Coastal Reserve.

The hike takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants should bring lunch, bottled water, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and layered synthetic clothing. Cost of the tour is $25 for adults, $10 for children 12 and younger.

To make a reservation, click here or call (843) 568-3222.