Ditch Pond Heritage Preserve/Wildlife Management Area

Property Location

Williston, SC 29853

Latitude: 33.415  Longitude:-81.472
Acreage: 296
County: Aiken, Barnwell
Game Zone: 3

Property Type: Heritage Preserve / WMA Specific

Hours of Operation

Heritage preserves are open for public use from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. On any preserve that is designated as a wildlife management area, the hours of operation shall be same as are authorized for hunting as stated in 123-40. The Department may set different operating hours for individual preserves. When operating hours are different from sunrise to sunset, the Department may restrict the hours of operation by publication in Department brochures and pamphlets or by posting on site specific hours of operation.

Activities / Facilities

Equestrian Hunting Nature Viewing Hiking Canoes Biking

Property Description

Located in Aiken and Barnwell counties, South Carolina. Ditch Pond Heritage Preserve is owned and managed by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). Comprising 296 acres, Ditch Pond HP contains a Carolina bay that was first documented in 1973. Carolina bays are elliptically shaped, wet depressions that range in size from one acre to more than 1,000 acres. Approximately 98 percent of Carolina bays in South Carolina have been altered from their natural state. However, the bay at Ditch Pond, consisting of approximately 25 acres, has remained intact. Eight rare plant species of concern have been found on the property. They include blue maidencane, Robbin's spikerush, creeping St. John's wort, piedmont water milfoil, awned meadow beauty, slender arrowhead, Florida bladderwort and piedmont bladderwort.

While the bay has remained intact, the upland portions of Ditch Pond HP have been highly disturbed in the past and have experienced a wide range of land uses including asparagus farming, loblolly pine plantations, and prior to SCDNR's ownership, clearcutting and regrowth into a variety of scrub oaks. In the fall of 2014, SCDNR harvested approximately 100 acres of this scrub oak as the first phase of an ecological restoration plan for these upland areas. These sites were prepared in the summer of 2015, and replanted to longleaf pine the following winter of 2015/16. Approximately 60,000 containerized longleaf seedlings were provided through a partnership with the Longleaf Alliance and the Arbor Day Foundation.

Ditch Pond HP is part of the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) program and provides both archery hunting for deer and gun hunting for small game. Refer to SCDNR Rules and Regulations brochure.