Explore the Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary at Beidler Forest

By:Megan Sexton


The boardwalk at Francis Beidler Forest
The boardwalk at Francis Beidler Forest

Making the drive from Columbia to Charleston with some outdoors-loving kids? (Or any kids who need to stretch their legs outdoors?)

A stop at the Francis Beidler Forest should be on your agenda.

Located near Harleyville about halfway between Columbia and Charleston, the 16,000-acre nature preserve has a nearly two-mile long boardwalk that cuts through the heart of a hardwood forest featuring some of the tallest trees around. Plus there are picnic areas and a gift shop -- making it a great stopping point on your trip.

School children from across South Carolina regularly visit the Audubon Center at Beidler Forest to learn about the preserve's vast wetlands, tall trees and the multitude of birds that populate the area. More than 300 species of animals can be found at Beidler, ranging from alligators to song birds.

Have an iPod Touch or iPhone? You can download the boardwalk-specific app for free before you visit here.

Beidler Forest is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 6 and older. Younger children are admitted free. The preserve is off Interstate 26 at exit 187 (if you're heading west) or exit 177 (if you're heading east). Once you get off the highway, follow the Biedler Forest signs.

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