South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Segars-McKinnon Heritage Preserve
Latitude: 34.3655 Longitude:-80.1172
Property Type: Heritage Preserve - Natural
NO Hunting Allowed on Property
Hours of Operation
The area is open during daylight hours year-round.
Activities / Facilities
795 acres, Darlington Co. - Occupying the floodplain and upland on the north side of Black Creek, this preserve provides habitat for 6 rare plant species and 4 rare plant communities. A footbridge across Black Creek connects the preserve with Kalmia Gardens, a botanical complex in Hartsville.
These sites show two faces of Black Creek. On the 60-foot drop from the bluff to the creek, "Miss May" Coker planted a 30-acre garden. The signature plant is mountain laurel, abundant enough in this Pee Dee setting to lend its Latin name, Kalmia latifolia, to the gardens themselves. Across the creek is the 796-acre Segars-McKinnon Heritage Preserve, a showcase for vegetation in its natural state.
What to look for:
The abundant flowers of the gardens attract an equally abundant butterfly population, and the many habitat types allow a variety of bird species to flourish here. In upland pine groves, look for Pine Warblers, Pine Siskins, and Brown-headed Nuthatches. In wet hardwood areas, you may see Acadian Flycatchers and Prothonotary Warblers. The shy Yellow-billed Cuckoo will be hard to spot, but listen for its resonant kuk-kuk-kuk call. In wet areas near Black Creek look for wood ducks, kingfishers and herons . A bridge leads from the Rhododendron Trail across Black Creek to the flood plain of the heritage preserve. Near the creek, look for pond and bald cypress, red and sweet bay, titi, clethra and other swamp-loving plants. Upland areas are characterized by a longleaf pine/wiregrass community.
When to go:
Mountain laurel blooms in May, and spring will be the best time to view other flowering plants. Migrating birds will be most abundant in the spring and fall. The gardens are open year-round, from dawn until dusk.