Hike through the History and Beauty of Cypress Gardens

By:Marie McAden

Date:10/4/2013

AS OF OCTOBER 2015 CYPRESS GARDENS IS CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE VISIT http://www.cypressgardens.info/ OR CONTACT THE OFFICE FOR MORE INFORMATION


Walking the trails at Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner, it’s easy to be swept away by the beauty of the Lowcountry landscape. Every turn on the winding paths leads to a sweet surprise of nature — a water willow blooming at the edge of a bog, Monarch butterflies fluttering around pink azaleas, an Eastern kingbird perched on a tupelo.

With so much to see, visitors may not notice they’re walking on the top of dikes built by slaves nearly 300 years ago. Benjamin Kittredge created the gardens in 1909 on the original rice fields of Dean Hall Plantation. Recognizing the unique beauty of the low-lying land, he rebuilt the old rice field embankments, dug canals through the swamps and planted new flowers, trees and shrubs. In 1932, he opened the gardens to the public.

Three miles of trails take you around the old rice field reservoir and deep into the wooded wetlands that make up most of the 170-acre property. We started out on the Main Path near the boat launch site and crossed a stone bridge to the Camellia Garden. It features hundreds of Asian camellias Kittridge’s wife Elizabeth collected on a trip to southern China.

I was amazed at how loud katydids, cicadas, grasshoppers and crickets can sound in such a quiet setting. Now, the chirping insects are joined by a chorus of migratory visitors, among them solitary sandpipers, black and white warblers and rough-winged swallows.

We continued on the path for about a half mile, veering onto a boardwalk to explore an unusual structure made of slender wooden poles, connected by wire and draped with Spanish moss. A sign described it as a meditative space in the middle of the swamp where one can rest and contemplate.

From there, we took the Kittredge Path to the gravesites of the couple who created the gardens. A large concrete cross towers above their simple gravestones.

Back on the Main Path, we passed a bat hotel, a wedding gazebo, an inland rice field and bog garden.
The network of walkways also includes the more primitive one-mile Perimeter Trail, a path to a wildflower meadow and the Northern Nature Trail leading to picnic shelters and a play area for kids.

You can pick up a trail map at the Visitor Center. Maps also are posted along the paths.
For more information on Cypress Gardens, click here or call (843) 553-0515.

Related Content

Discover the Wildlife Center at Cypress Gardens
Cypress Gardens is known for its lovely swampland setting, but this Lowcountry jewel offers much more than just its natural beauty. Discover the Swamparium and the Nature Center, full of wildlife and wonder both adults and kids can enjoy.
5 of South Carolina’s Most Beautiful Cypress Swamps
If you like the idea of experiencing South Carolina from a kayak or canoe, head to the swamp for serene outdoor adventure. Flooded forests filled with moss-draped trees will transport you to a faraway place and away from the stresses of everyday life.
Enjoy a Quiet Day at Hatcher Garden
Hatcher Garden offers visitors a lovely spot to read a book, have a picnic lunch or get lost in nature. Benches sit throughout the preserve - along soothing streams and under the shade of trees - to rest and enjoy Mother Nature’s handiwork.

Featured Products

Cypress Gardens
Coast

Moncks Corner

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
AS OF OCTOBER 2015 CYPRESS GARDENS IS CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE VISIT http://www.cypressgardens.info/ OR CONTACT THE OFFICE FOR MOR ...
Moncks Corner Visitors Center
Coast

Moncks Corner

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
The visitor's center has information about the area and a small gift shop featuring consignment art pieces for sale from regional artists. ...

Featured products and attractions in "Hike through the History and Beauty of Cypress Gardens"

Nearby Attractions

  • {{item.name}}

You might also like:

Christmas in Hopelands
Midlands

Aiken

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
The Annual Christmas in Hopelands light exhibit takes place at Hopelands Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina. Christmas in Hopelands is open from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm each nig ...
Waterfront Park
Coast

Charleston

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
One of the peninsula's most visited parks, Waterfront Park opened in 1990 and offers fantastic views of the Charleston Harbor. Gardens, fountains, walking paths and plent ...
Abbeville Spring Festival
Midlands

Abbeville

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
An award-winning event featuring live entertainment all day, art and flower shows, antique car and collector show, craft vendors, amusement rides, evening street dances, ...
Two Meeting Street Inn
Coast

Charleston

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
(c.1890) Beautiful Queen Anne mansion overlooking Charleston Harbor; Afternoon tea; All private baths; Tiffany stained glass windows; elegant arched piazzas, manicured ga ...
Thirty Six Meeting Street B&B
Coast

Charleston

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
(c.1740) Pre-Revolutionary War home; Antique furnishings; Four-poster rice beds; Each suite has kitchenette,private baths,queen beds; Private walled garden; SC Bed and Br ...
Swan Lake Iris Gardens
Midlands

Sumter

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
The black waters of Swan Lake form a setting for Iris Gardens. The lake is dotted with colorful islands, wildlife is abundant andit is the only public park in the US to f ...