Henderson Heritage Preserve/Wildlife Management Area

Property Location

Aiken, SC 29801

Latitude: 33.607  Longitude:-81.742
Acreage: 417
County: Aiken
Game Zone: 3

Property Type: Heritage Preserve / WMA Specific

Hours of Operation

Regulation No. 123-204 C

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

Biking Equestrian Fishing Hunting Nature Viewing Hiking

Property Description

Henderson Heritage Preserve was acquired and dedicated to protect a longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) -scrub oak (Quercus spp.) sandhills ecosystem. The preserve was established in 1993 when Ms. Rosetta Miller donated 197.5 acres to the SC Department of Natural Resources. The preserve is named in honor of Ms. Miller's great grandfather, Frank P. Henderson, who was a former Mayor of Aiken.

In the period between the Wisconsin glaciation (ca. 12,000 years before present) and European settlement, fire-dependent longleaf pine ecosystems became the most extensive ecosystems in the southeastern United States, covering 60-90 million acres. Today, because of fire suppression and harvesting without replacement, only about 3 million acres remain. These forests, although dominated by a single canopy tree species, are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in North America. Biologists conduct prescribed burns to mimic natural fires and restore and maintain the ecosystem. The preserve's overstory is mainly mature longleaf pine, with turkey oak (Q. laevis) dominating the midstory, and several species of wiregrass, plus rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides), trailing arbutus (Epigea repens), blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) and other species in the understory. The rare plant species bog spice bush Lindera subcoriacea, is the preserve's rarest element. The 1.4 mile hiking trail will guide the visitor through much of this habitat.

The preserve encompasses 417 acres in Aiken County, about 2 miles north of Aiken, and 2 miles south of Interstate 20. Aiken County is located in the western part of the state along the Georgia state line, and on the fall line physiographic province, which lies between the coastal plain and piedmont physiographic provinces.