Fieldtrip, July 26, 2008, Florida & Red Bluff Bays, Berkeley Co.
FLORIDA & RED BLUFF BAYS
BERKELEY COUNTY, SC
JULY 26, 2008 – 10:30 AM
(Johnny Hardaway & Wayne Grooms)
On a previous trip to Florida Bay I heard Patrick McMillan call Florida Bay the best Carolina Bay anywhere. Enough said. It is a shallow bay with a clay based lens underneath and is surrounded by xeric woods sloping down to the bay. There is no ground water charge. Typically it contains twelve to eighteen inches of water. Unfortunately because of the drought it is now dry. Wayne and I scouted it twice this year and both times were able to walk in it without getting our feet wet. When wet it is surrounded by various rings of vegetation including different Sarracenia, Hypericum fasiculatum, Pagonia and Cleistes orchids, various Rhynchospra species, and Eriocaulon compressum among others. The interior of the bay has pond cypress, Ilex myrtifolia, Ilex cassina and other typical bay plants. Close by are several sinkholes several of which still have water despite the drought.
Red Bluff Bay unfortunately was also dry when we scouted it. It is a beautiful example of a bay, when dry appearing like a prairie transported to the coastal plain. It typically has many of the same plants mentioned above.
The Francis Marion National Forest is always a great place to visit. Despite the drought there will always be a lot of interesting natural history for us to see. For dinner I suggest we eat at the Seewee Restaurant in Awendaw. It’s a down-home seafood restaurant.
CONSIDERATIONS: Pack a lunch and bring plenty of water. Insect repellents are likely to be a good precaution; always be ready for rain; bring a hat; pencil & paper for identifications, etc.
DIRECTIONS TO FLORIDA BAY: Take I-26 towards Charleston. Before Charleston take exit 212C for I-526 toward Mr. Pleasant. Stay on I-526 until exit 29 (to Isle of Palms and Georgetown). Exit at exit 29. Turn left on 17 North toward Georgetown. Go approximately four miles on 17 North. Turn left on Highway 41 (Seels Marine is at the intersection of 17 North and Highway 41). Go approximately six miles (you will cross a steel bridge over the Wando River). Turn fight at Halfway Creek Road (State Highway S-8-100). Go 11.5 miles and you come to the intersection of Halfway Creek Road and Steed Creek Road. Go straight through the intersection. After approximately 8 miles, at the second power line crossing over the road, turn right into the road that runs under the power line. Park approximately fifty yards down the road. Florida Bay is to the left down a slope. Be careful not to park blocking the Wambaw cycle trail which runs by the bay.
UTM coordinates for Florida Bay are 17 S 629557 E 3669397 N
DIRECTIONS TO RED BLUFF BAY: Red Bluff Bay is rather difficult to find so it would be best to caravan there from Florida Bay. The directions from Florida Bay are as follows: Turn right out of Florida Bay go east on Halfway Creek Road. After approximately 3.3 miles you will come to a stop sign. Go Straight on Chicken Creek Road for approximately 1 mile. Turn right on Forest Road 204 ( a dirt road). Stay on 204 – there is a curve off to the left – do not take this curve. After approximately 8.5 miles turn right on Forest Road 5032 (there is a sign but it is hard to see). After taking Forest Road 5032 do not take the first left hand turn – stay straight. After .9 miles on 5032 turn left on Forest Road 5032 A. Go approximately .3 miles and stop. Red Bluff Bay is to your left.
DIRECTIONS TO THE SEEWEE RESTAURANT: From Red Bluff Bay go back to the intersection of Halfway Creek Road and Steed Creek Road. Turn left on Steed Creek Road (going south) until you come to Highway 17. Turn right on Highway 17 and go 9.63 miles. The Seewee Restaurant will be on your right on Highway 17 at the intersection of Highway 17 and Fifteen Mile Road.
South Carolina Association of Naturalists: Gordon Murphy, President; Pat Bright, Vice-president; Ben Gregory, Secretary; Greg Mancini, Treasurer; Jan Ciegler, Flora/Fauna Database Manager; Dee Hope, Historian, Regional Directors: Jan Ciegler (north); Johnny Hardaway & Wayne Grooms (south); Chris Manuse (east); Claudia Houck & Lynn Smith (west); John Cely (central). Newsletter published monthly; contact Ben Gregory, scan_editor_brg@... or 704-372-8532. Yearly membership is $12. Send check to SCAN, c/o Greg Mancini, P.O. Box 5651, Columbia, SC 29250-5651. Fieldtrips are open to visitors; children must be over age 15. SCAN is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in the state of South Carolina. (www.scnaturalists.org)
SCAN 2008 (7):2--
Ben Gregory, Secretary
South Carolina Association of
2120 N. Davidson St., #217
Charlotte, NC 28205-1838
704 / 372-8532