Tag Archives: Walk Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

NABA Count – Congaree National Park (Hopkins, SC)

On Saturday, September 17, 2022, the Midlands Chapter of CBS (Carolina Butterfly Society) will participate in a NABA (North American Butterfly Association) count at Congaree National Park near Columbia, South Carolina, to look for seasonal butterflies.

Meet at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center (GPS coordinates 33.82984, -80.82343) where we will divide into smaller groups. Some groups will have longer areas to walk than others. Some of the trails will have roots and/or may be overgrown. There are no restaurants nearby. You do not have to be an expert to participate and may come for a whole or half day.

Refer to the national park website link below for additional information and maps of the property. Please RSVP to Claudia Santiago at the email address below if you can help with this important count.

Mount Pisgah, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

This will be a joint outing with SCAN (South Carolina Association of Naturalists) to Mount Pisgah, located in the North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Information from SCAN is included below.

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We will meet at the first Mount Pisgah parking lot to enjoy the views at Buck Spring and for our greetings with photo shoot. There are a few trails to explore from here.

We welcome the Carolina Butterfly Society to join us.

Mount Pisgah Trail
Trail begins at the far end of the Mount Pisgah Parking Area. 1.8 miles to the summit, the first 0.5 miles is fairly flat. The remaining 1.2 miles is moderate to strenuous. Lots of rock steps, for an ascent of 712 feet.

The trail passes through a forest of Northern Red Oaks, maples, birches and pockets of rhododendrons and mountain laurel to a deciduous heath bald at the summit at 5721 feet. An observation deck for a 360-degree view and the transmission tower sit at the summit. To the NE views of Craggy mountains, Asheville and the French Broad River Valley, to the West Shining Rock Wilderness and Cold Mountain and to the SW Looking Glass.

Most of the wildflowers can be seen for the first 0.5 miles. White snake root, Jeruselum artichoke, bee balm, Angelica, Prunella vulgaris Self heal and purple flowering raspberry Rubus odoratus, Joe-Pye weed a butterfly magnet, lots of ferns and mushrooms. Listen for the dark eyed juncos and warblers along the trail. Peregrine falcons are commonly spotted at the summit. Many wildflowers are native and some endangered.

Buck Spring Trail
This 1.1 mile-long portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail runs between the Mount Pisgah Inn and the Buck Spring Gap Parking Area. The trail passes the site where the mountain cabin of George Vanderbilt’s and Buck Spring Lodge once stood.

Shut In Trail
16.3 miles long and descends over 3,000 feet. Walk the trail in as far as you like and return to back track out.

Directions

From Asheville there are numerous paths to get to the BRP. From Bent Creek River Park/NC Arboretum on NC191, hop onto the BRP and head south, approximately 10 miles, to Milepost 407. Turn left into Mount Pisgah Parking area. Park at the first parking area Buck Spring Gap. Along the BRP there are several tunnels. Check that your headlights are off when you park.

GPS coordinates for Buck Spring overlook: 35.416017, -82.748378

There are 2 parking lots at Mount Pisgah. The first is Buck Spring Gap Overlook where we will meet. If you continue N 0.2 miles you will reach the 2nd parking lot. You can easily walk in between the two lots via road or take a trail. The Mount Pisgah trailhead is located at the far end of the second parking lot.

Lodging and Food

Pisgah campground is a little less than a mile and a half away. There is a trail from the campground to Mount Pisgah trail head.

Pisgah Inn is only a mile away at Milepost 408 which has rooms available with great views. They have a nice observation deck, restrooms and a good restaurant. Restaurant fills quickly so make a reservation if you would like to eat dinner. Dinner served from 5:00 to 9:00 PM. Phone: (828) 235-8228, Website: www.pisgahinn.com

There are restrooms located at entrance to Pisgah Inn parking lot.

Temps are cooler in the mountains. Come join and SCAN with us!

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See the website link below for hiking trails and other information about Mount Pisgah.

NABA Count – Congaree National Park (Hopkins, SC)

On Saturday, August 13, 2022, the Midlands Chapter of CBS (Carolina Butterfly Society) will participate in a NABA (North American Butterfly Association) count at Congaree National Park near Columbia, South Carolina, to look for mid-season butterflies.

Meet at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center (GPS coordinates 33.82984, -80.82343) where we will divide into smaller groups. Some groups will have longer areas to walk than others. Some of the trails will have roots and/or may be overgrown. There are no restaurants nearby. You do not have to be an expert to participate and may come for a whole or half day.

Refer to the national park website link below for additional information and maps of the property. Please RSVP to Claudia Santiago at the email address below if you can help with this important count.

NABA Butterfly Count (SCRA, Aiken County, SC)

On Saturday, July 9, 2022, NABA (North American Butterfly Association) will hold a butterfly count in the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) at the Silver Bluff Audubon Center in Jackson, South Carolina. Audubon’s Silver Bluff Sanctuary is a 3,400-acre woodland overlooking the Savannah River. Here you’ll find extensive pine forests and bottomland hardwood forests; beautiful walking trails; 50 acres of lakes and ponds; 100 acres of grassland; and all manner of birds, butterflies and wildlife. Refer to the website below for specific directions and additional information about Silver Bluff Sanctuary.

Meet at the Silver Bluff Audubon Visitor Center in Jackson, South Carolina. The GPS coordinates for the gate just outside the visitor center are 33.32451, -81.84501. Please RSVP to John Demko at the email address below if you plan to participate.

Important note: using the street address, some GPS systems tell you that you’ve arrived one mile before you actually reach the Silver Bluff gates. At that point, Silver Bluff Road transitions from a paved road to a well-maintained sand/clay road. Continue driving for one more mile and you’ll see the gates on your right. As stated earlier, the GPS coordinates above are for the gate located just outside the visitor’s center.

On this same date, there will also be another group over on the Georgia side of the river doing a NABA count in the Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. If anyone is interested in participating with this other group in Georgia, contact John Demko at the email address below for more information.

Wateree River HP & WMA – Henry’s Elfin (Eastover, near Columbia, SC)

DATE CHANGED TO SUNDAY, MARCH 20, 2022

Due to a weather forecast for heavy overnight rains on Friday extending into the morning of Saturday, March 19, 2022, this walk has been RESCHEDULED to Sunday, March 20, 2022.  We will meet at the same location listed below but, due to cooler temperatures, will delay starting by 1/2 hour, changing the start time from 10:00am to 10:30am. Hope to see you there.

On Sunday, March 20, 2022, the Midlands Chapter of CBS (Carolina Butterfly Society) will hold a butterfly walk at Wateree River Heritage Preserve and Wildlife Management Area near Columbia, South Carolina, to look for Henry’s Elfin and other early season butterflies. We will drive to various areas and walk some of the trails.

Meet at the first kiosk that is located on the right, about 0.45 miles along Goodwill Road after entering the property. GPS coordinates for the kiosk are 33.94949, -80.65303. The HP / WMA entrance is located at 15001 Goodwill Road, Eastover, SC 29044 (GPS coordinates 33.94353, -80.65551) on the north side of Garners Ferry Road, US Highway 378, just across from Goodwill Baptist Church.

No restrooms are available on the property. Refer to the SCDNR website link below for additional information and maps of the property. Please RSVP to Marty Kastner at the email address below if you plan to participate.

Carolina Sandhills NWR, Cheraw SP and Horseshoe Mountain

The first walk for the CBS Midlands Chapter will be on April 3. We will visit Cheraw State Park and Horseshoe Mountain. Due to a recent controlled burn and lack of nectar, we will NOT explore Carolina Sandhills NWR; we will only meet there in the parking lot at 10:00 (which, due to the expected cool temperature, is later than the original time of 9:30 ). The main entrance is on US Highway 1, about 4 miles northeast of McBee, SC.  The address is 23734 U.S. Highway 1, McBee, SC 29101. We will caravan to Cheraw SP and then to Horseshoe Mountain.

Please note that masks and social distancing are mandated on all federal lands (Sandhills) and masks are only required in areas where people congregate at Cheraw SP. If you want to explore the Carolina Sandhills NWR, a youth turkey hunt is taking place on this date and our permit limits us to either side of Wildlife Drive from Hwy 1 to RT 9. Please bring an orange hat or vest to wear in the NWR other than the parking lot.

Please note that the area at Cheraw SP is not a trail and we will be walking on uneven ground covered with pine needles and some vegetation. Also, at Horseshoe Mountain there is a walk with some steps to get up to the top. The high temperature is only supposed to be 59 on Saturday, but we did see butterflies while scouting when it was only 55 degrees. It is supposed to be sunny.

As before we will practice social distancing as much as possible during the walk. Be sure to bring your mask since the area will be more crowded on a holiday weekend. Bathrooms are available at Horseshoe Mountain.

The target species are Henry’s Elfin, Brown Elfin, Frosted Elfin and Hessel’s Hairstreak. Please bring your binoculars, camera, field guides, lunch, snacks and water. We will end around 3:00. Marty and Dave Kastner will lead the walk. Please sign up on the CBS website or contact Marty and Dave if you plan to attend. kastners@aol.com

Wannamaker Nature Preserve

This is a joint walk with SCAN (South Carolina Association of Naturalists) and, as of 6/10/20, they still intend on meeting and exploring.  Wannamaker is owned by the Columbia Audubon Society and is located 3.5 miles east of St. Matthews on SC 6.  It is not open to the general public.  There is a pavilion and bathroom on site.  Dave Schuetrum of SCAN will be the leader.  d14ds0604@att.net

GPS Coordinates: 33.636649, -80.706006

Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve and Shealy’s Pond Heritage Preserve

We will visit Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve and Shealy’s Pond Heritage Preserve if time permits. . Meet in the parking lot at Peachtree to look for the colony of Brown Elfins and other early butterflies. The address is 883 Peachtree Rock Road, Lexington, SC 29073. There are no facilities at this site, but gas stations and restaurants are nearby.

If the weather is too cold or rainy, we will move this trip to March 9

Latta Plantation Nature Preserve/Cowan’s Ford Wildlife Refuge

We will start at the Latta Plantation Nature Center and walk around the Latta Prairie section of the park. Keep in mind this walk is in August and temperatures can be hot. We will be walking on hard surface horse trails for the most part with a couple large hills. We will eat lunch at the picnic tables at the Nature Center and then drive to Cowan’s Ford Nature Preserve where we will finish the day.

Bring Lunch, Snacks, WATER, WATER, WATER . There are Restrooms and picnic tables on site. Restaurants are not nearby so plan accordingly .

Bring Good bug spray for Ticks and Chiggers, hats, long sleeves, SUN BLOCK, binoculars, camera, and sturdy shoes. Field Guides, etc.

 

Haw River State Park

We will be exploring the new Iron Ore Belt Access section to the west.  Please note, do NOT go to the Haw River SP conference center in Browns Summit.  Meet at the Iron Ore Belt Access section parking lot near the pit toilet at 6064 N. Church St., Greensboro, NC 27455.  For more information, visit their website: https://www.ncparks.gov/haw-river-state-park

Although our chapter has been elsewhere in the park in previous years, we have not gone as a group to the Iron Ore Belt Access section. A few of our members scouted this section back in the winter and noted a power line right-of-way, some meadows, and a wetland that look promising for butterflies. We will walk an easy to moderate woodland trail to get to these sites. The trail seemed a bit rocky and had projecting tree roots periodically, but there wasn’t a large elevation change.

Bring plenty of water to drink and dress for the summer weather. Binoculars, cameras, field guides, insect repellent, and sunscreen probably will be useful.

Contact the field trip coordinator, Anne Carlson carlsonanne74@gmail.com or register on the CBS website if you plan to participate. Participants are welcome to come on our walks without contacting the coordinator, but you may miss us if there are last minute changes in the trip details. Trip coordinators will contact those who register for our field trips with updates on weather issues, changes in timing or meeting places, and other details.

This will be an interesting butterfly walk because we will be exploring an area new to us. We believe that it’s suitable for beginners as well as seasoned butterfliers. However, since we aren’t sure about the terrain and distances involved, it would be best for kids and folks with ambulatory issues to skip this one. Guests are welcome but no pets, please.