South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Wateree Heritage Preserve /Wildlife Management Area
Latitude: 33.97 Longitude:-80.64
Game Zone: 3
Property Type: Heritage Preserve / WMA Specific
Hours of Operation
All users must wear international orange from October 1 thru March 1.
Open 7 days a week for public use from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset. With the exception of the following days during scheduled hunts.
No Fox Squirrel Hunting
Property Closed ½ day on the following dates for Lottery Hunts:
No horseback riding with permit. A completed application must be submitted to SCDNR for approval 10 days prior to the use of the area.
Activities / Facilities
Wateree River Heritage Preserve Wildlife Management (WRHP) was purchased by Haile Gold Mine as partial mitigation for a mining operation that was permitted in Lancaster County, SC. WRHP will protect upland, bottomland and managed wetland habitats and provide recreational opportunities including hunting and fishing for the people of South Carolina. One important objective is to protect and enhance jurisdictional wetlands and streams on the property by restoring the natural hydrological flow in those areas where the water was historically diverted and by re-establishing bottomland hardwood species on other areas of the property.
WRHP is a 3,674-acre tract of land located seventeen miles east of Columbia on Highway 378 near the Eastover community. The property is bordered by the Wateree River and is on the Richland/Sumter County line, with all of the land area in Richland County. The WRHP is comprised of the old Cook's Mountain and Goodwill Plantation tracts. It is an important tract due to the importance of the historic and natural resource characteristics of the property. You can still find graves, ditches and dikes built by enslaved Africans for rice production on the property. Land types on the property range from a beautiful hardwood forest along the river to some of the highest elevations in the central part of the state. The mountain itself rises an elevation of 372 feet above sea level, an anomaly in this area that offers scenic views for miles. The mountain was the home of Mr. James Cook, a famous cartographer, who produced the Cook Map of South Carolina in 1773.
The property also has a wide variety of plant and animal life. There are many wildlife opening on the property and numerous wildlife species including white-tailed deer, turkey, bobwhite quail and songbirds. Colonels Creek runs through the southern part of the property and there is a small fishing pond on the northwest border of the tract. Bird watching, hiking and wildlife observation are encouraged in addition to public hunting and fishing.
Much of the property was ditched and Colonels Creek's original path was diverted to control water hydrology for farming purposes by many of the previous owners. You can still see evidence of ditching in the bottomland hardwood areas of the property.