South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve/Wildlife Management Area
Latitude: 35.148 Longitude:-82.281
Game Zone: 1
Property Type: Heritage Preserve / WMA Specific
Hours of Operation
The area is open during daylight hours year-round.
Activities / Facilities
Owned and managed by the SC Department of Natural Resources, the 1,886-acre Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve bears the name of a prominent mountain within its boundaries. That mountain harbors the white irisette, Sisyrinchium dichotomum, a perennial, designated as federally endangered. The plant has leaves that appear as forked blades; its flowers are diminutive and pale white. The plants grow in rich basic or neutral soils.
The property varies from early successional forest, left from clear cutting by the previous owner, to mature upland and cove hardwoods. Numerous rock outcrops jut out of the rugged Chestnut Ridge and Squirrel mountains, which are separated by the upper South Pacolet River. The river is creek-like in its dimensions within the property.
Visitors may enjoy a hiking trail on the preserve. The trail is 2.75 miles one way (so 5.5 miles round trip). The trail leads from the parking area on Oak Grove Road, up the south side of Squirrel Mountain and then descends the north side, ending at the South Pacolet River. The trail is moderate in difficulty and passes through different seral stages and forest habitats. Spring wildlflowers, such as bloodroot, and large boulders and outcrops are visible from the trail. The trail is for hiking only. Mountain bikes, horses, motorized vehicles and camping are prohibited on the preserve.
The preserve is part of Game Zone 1, and is a Wildlife Management Area, allowing hunting in accordance with WMA regulations. This property features a 144-acre area open only to archery hunting, called the Glassy Mountain Archery Only Area. The remaining 1,742 acres are in regular WMA. Species typically hunted on the property include bear, deer, squirrel and turkey.