Tag Archives: Free parking

Latta Plantation NP and Cowan’s Ford Wildlife Refuge


Due to the large response we’ve had to our upcoming walk at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, we would like to move our meet up location to the gravel parking lot behind the Nature Center and not the Nature Center Parking Lot. After you enter the park drive past the Nature Center parking lot to the next road and follow it to the lot behind the Nature Center. A map is attached for reference.

During these walks we generally see our highest species diversity of the season.

Anne Springs Close Greenway / Elon Park

Meet at 10:00am at the Lake Haigler parking lot on Colharp Rd on the east side of the Highway 21 Bypass. Please download the trail map PDF to locate bathrooms and other public facilities.

We will start the day walking around the edge of Lake Haigler searching for the Byssus Skipper on the Buttonbush that grow around the lake.

After we are done at Anne Springs Close Greenway we will head to Elon Park about 15 minutes away located at: 11401 Ardrey Kell Rd Charlotte, NC 28277

At this location we will again search for Byssus Skipper which has not yet been seen in Mecklenburg County.

You can bring a picnic lunch and eat at one of the picnic tables at Anne Springs or stop for lunch at one of the restaurants on the way to Elon Park. The park has public restrooms.

Bring good bug spray, hats, long sleeves, sun block, binoculars, camera, sturdy shoes, and any other items you may need to have an enjoyable experience.

Francis Marion NF Weekend – Saturday

Members are to provide their own transportation, meals, and lodging. Members are responsible for paying for travel costs associated with this field trip.

We will meet in the parking lot of the Santee Delta WMA -East. Please see the images below to help you find this obscure location. There isn’t an actual street address for you to use, but there are coordinates that can be plugged into Google maps or a GPS device: 33°12’17.0″N, 79°23’16.1″W (format: dd° mm’ ss.s”) or 33.204728, -79.387817 (format: dd.ddddd°)

Hover over the images with your mouse to read a description of the image. The East parking lot is along the northbound lanes of Hwy 17. The West parking lot is on the southbound lanes. There is an unofficial left turn into the East parking lot from the southbound lanes.

satellite image of parking lot

There are no facilities at this location. You will need to bring lunch, water, bug spray, guide books, binoculars, camera, and any other items you will need to have a pleasant butterflying experience. It is recommended that your wear long sleeves, pants, hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Biting insects in some locations can be impressive. Path conditions are flat and sandy. It is recommended you wear sturdy shoes or hiking footwear.

We will visit a number of locations depending on butterflying conditions. The nearest convenience stores in McClellanville, about 10 miles from Santee Delta East WMA, 6 mi from Santee Coastal Reserve and 6 mi from Mills Branch in the Francis Marion NF. Lodging accommodates can be found in the towns of N Charleston (40 mi), Mt Pleasant (30 mi), Charleston and Georgetown (25 mi).

Some suggested dining options include See Wee Restaurant in Awendaw; T.W. Graham & Co. Seafood Restaurant, Buckshots, and McClellanville Diner in McClellanville.

Target species include but are not restricted to: Palamedes Swallowtail. King’s Hairstreak, Little Metalmark, Intricate Satyr, Georgia Satyr, White Checkered-Skipper, Tropical Checkered-Skipper, Tawny-edged Skipper, Byssus Skipper, Yehl Skipper, Rare Skipper, Broad-winged Skipper, Duke’s Skipper, Lace-winged Roadside-Skipper, and Reversed Roadside-Skipper.

Latta Plantation Nature Preserve

We will meet up at the Nature Center. Walking conditions will be moderate with some walking in tall grass with some briars. Long pants and sturdy boots are recommended. Bring snacks, water and lunch if needed. There are restrooms and picnic tables on site. Gas stations and restaurants are located within 10 miles of the Preserve. It is recommended you bring good bug spray, hats, sun block, binoculars, camera, and any other items you may require for an enjoyable experience. This is usually not an all day event but if the weather is good and the butterflies are out in numbers we may check some other areas. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Target species is the Dusted Skipper.

Carolina Sandhills NWR / Cheraw SP

Meet up will be at the visitor’s center. There is a restroom facility at Lake Bee in Sandhills NWR but we will not visit it until lunch so please plan accordingly. Gas stations and limited restaurant choices are available in McBee, SC, about 4 miles from the Refuge entrance. The nearest town with full services is Hartsville, SC. It is recommended that you pack a lunch and snacks and bring water. Walking conditions are generally easy except for the Lake Bee section which can be difficult depending on water levels. Bring good bug spray, hats, sun block, binoculars, and camera. Wear long sleeves, plants, and sturdy shoes, and any additional items you might need to have a pleasurable experience. Please refer to the Refuge’s website FAQs for additional information about visiting the facility. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Target species is Hessel’s Hairstreak.

NABA Count: Dismal Swamp State Park

A wonderful citizen science opportunity for butterfliers! We will meet at the park’s visitor’s center. Transportation within the park to various locations will be provided. Amenities at the park include public bathrooms and water fountains within the visitor’s center. The nearest major city with restaurants and lodging is Elizabeth City, about 20 miles from the park. Be sure to bring with you the necessities you require to have an enjoyable butterfly counting experience. It is recommended that you wear long pants, long sleeves, bring insect repellent, and wear sturdy shoes or hiking footwear. Paths within the park are grassy and fairly level. Once inside the park conducting the count access to amenities is limited. The $3 participation fee for a NABA Count is waived. Please register for this event so that Brian can keep you updated about changes due to weather or other circumstances.

Target species is the Hessel’s Hairstreak. Additional butterflies to be observed include: Palamedes Swallowtail (a new state record number was observed in 2017), Zebra Swallowtail, assorted skippers, hairstreaks, and more. Review the trip report of the 2017 count.

Wednesday Walks: JC Raulston Arboretum

Begin the butterfly season with a walk through the JC Raulston Arboretum! Meet up will be at the visitor’s center. Paths through the garden are easily navigated by any kind of footwear. Be sure to bring with you any necessities you might need to have an enjoyable walk. Amenities at the location include public restroom and water fountains. The arboretum is within driving distance of restaurants of all kinds. Parking is free. Butterflies typically seen at the Arboretum include: Tiger Swallowtails, Pipevine Swallowtails and caterpillars, cabbage whites, Sulphurs, assorted skippers, angelwings, and more! Rain date or poor butterflying weather reschedule date will be on April 11 @ 1-3 PM.