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Discover the Hidden Gems in Travelers Rest

Marie McAden Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.
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Of all the hidden gems Travelers Rest has to offer, none is harder to find than the bunched arrowhead, a federally endangered species found in only three counties in the world. TR lays claim to two areas where the tiny white flowering plant grows. One is on the Furman University campus and the other is in a protected area named after the rare herbaceous species.

Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve, located off Tigerville Road, provides the extremely rare seepage habitat in which bunched arrowhead can thrive. A 1.25-mile loop trail through the preserve’s bottomland forest passes a muddy bog that serves as home to the botanical treasure. Other rare plants found on the property include climbing fern and dwarf-flowered heartleaf.

Even if you’re unable to spot the unassuming 15- to 16-inch plant, you’ll enjoy the walk through the diverse habitats found in the 178-acre preserve.

It’s also easy to miss the stone pyramid monument found along Tigersville Road, a mile from Highway 25. About the height of a person, the inconspicuous marker pays tribute to Revolutionary War heroine Laodicea “Dicey” Langston. At the age of 14, she evaded British troops in the area, crossing thick woodlands and a swollen Tyger River, to alert the Patriots of the oncoming Benastre Tarleton and his legion. She spent the rest of the war as an informant for the Patriot cause.

The monument sits on the site of her farmhouse and was built with a hearthstone from her home, which burned to the ground in the 1930s.

Wine lovers will enjoy visiting two other TR gems—Wellborn Winery and The Tasting Room

Opened on July 4, 2018, Wellborn Winery is a small-scale craft vintner offering a collection of blends made from European, hybrid and native American grapes grown in its three vineyards, and Lenoir grapes obtained from another local grower. In the fall of 2018, it won a gold medal for its Rustic Red Chambourcin and two silvers for its Deep Purple Lenoir and Red Clay Rosé in the Wines of the South Regional Competition.

Guests are welcome to visit the winery’s outdoor tasting room to try the wines. The dog-friendly winery is open Friday and Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m. and by appointment.

For a greater diversity of artisan wines—and craft beers, too—check out The Tasting Room Wine Shop + Bar on Main Street. The family-friendly neighborhood shop offers more than 180 wines and some 150 craft beers from around the world, plus a robust selection of by-the-glass wines and rotating beers on draft. Stop by and try the weekly feature wines with some cheese and charcuterie.

If you love exploring local antique shops, you’ll want to hit up Country Antiques on Highway 25 N. As the name implies, it specializes in authentic farmhouse ware, including furniture, sinks, glassware, quilts, pottery and tools. There’s even an antique wagon! More than three dozen dealers have booths in the shop offering something for everyone.

For a different kind of local vibe, catch one of the races at the Travelers Rest Speedway, a 3/8-mile clay oval track for dirt racing. Buy a bag of boiled peanuts and settle in for some family-friendly old-school racing.

Marie McAden
A former staffer with The Miami Herald, Marie moved to SC in 1992. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoys exploring the state’s many natural treasures from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.