Audubon South Carolina is home to four experiences: Francis Beidler Forest, Grassland-Woodland Trail at Biedler, Silver Bluff Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Aiken and the Summerville B.I.R.D.S Sculpture Trail.
Biedler’s premiere attractions is its 1,700 acres of old growth cypress/tupelo forest. With many trees over 1,000 years old, it has the distinction of being the oldest of its kind in the U.S. and the largest remaining virgin stand of cypress tupelo forest in the world. A 1.75-mile boardwalk through the middle of the forest allows visitors see it up close.
The forest, located in the Four Holes Swamp, is the second largest wildlife sanctuary operated by Audubon. It opened to the public in 1977 and has grown to nearly 18,000 acres. It is part of the National Trail System and is also designated a National Natural Landmark.
Beidler is one of the largest wetland sanctuaries and provides some of the highest quality breeding habitats for birds on the East Coast. It provides habitat for more than 140 bird species, providing breeding and nesting habitat for 52 species. Many of these birds need large patches of intact swamp forest – the ideal configuration of at least 20,000 acres to thrive. Four Holes Swamp drains into the Edisto River, which is the largest freshwater source to the ACE (Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto) Basin.
For almost 40 years, Audubon South Carolina (ASC) staff has worked in the Four Holes watershed, leading the community, initiating broad-reaching education programs, and directing a successful habitat acquisition campaign. ASC has served as a national model for wetlands protection.