Aiken State Natural Area

Aiken State Natural Area

Overview

Area name

Aiken State Natural Area

Area Location

From I-20 Westbound:Take exit 33 and drive towards Wagener. Turn right at light then an immediate right again onto Hwy 302. That takes you straight to the park. From I-20 Eastbound:Take exit 22 onto Hwy 1 towards Aiken. Take Hwy 1 to Hwy 78 and look for park signs.

Area Map

Access

Hours of Operation: 9:00 – 6:00, every day.

Facilities

Background

Formerly called Aiken State Park, this 1,067 acre park contains four spring-fed lakes and the South Edisto River and is located 16 miles East of Aiken, South Carolina. The habitat includes riverine swamp and dry sand hills. There is a 3 mile nature trail and other hiking venues in the park.

Aiken State Park is a good spot to find migrant birds during spring and fall migration.  Yellow-throated Vireo is fairly easy to find along the Edisto River in spring and summer.  Rarities such as Merlin and Broad-winged Hawk have been found here.

Dragonflies abound and checking the various ponds may produce most of the Celithemis pennants, Elfin Skimmer, Comet Darner and Regal Darner.  Both Southern and Sphagnum Sprites can be found on the property.  In spring Clearlake and Dimiutive Clubtails can be found at Cabin Lake.

For more information visit South Carolina Parks.

Key Birds

Resident

Red-shouldered Hawk, Wild Turkey, Northern Bobwhite, Red-headed Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown-headed Nuthatch.

Rarities such as Merlin and Broad-winged Hawk have been found here.

Spring

Yellow-throated Vireo

Summer

Wood Stork, Mississippi Kite, Chuck-will’s-widow, Whip-poor-will, Yellow-throated Vireo, Northern Parula, Prairie Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Swainson’s Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow-breasted Chat, Bachman’s Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting.

Winter

Hooded Merganser, Bald Eagle, American Woodcock, Wilson’s Snipe, Winter Wren, American Pipit, Orange-crowned Warbler, Palm Warbler, Fox Sparrow.