Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Center & Sanctuary

336 Sanctuary Road, Harleyville, South Carolina 29448
(843) 462-2150


Business Details

Get inspired by the beauty and serenity of this ancient forest.

Come and experience the most historic location in the Charleston area! The ancient trees, the wildlife, and the quiet flow of blackwater all await you. Frequented by nature photographers from all over for its unique landscape and dynamic ecosystem, the swamp at Beidler Forest offers a beauty unsurpassed by any other nature sanctuary in the South Carolina lowcountry. Here, 1,000-year-old trees and native wildlife abound in a pristine sanctuary that has been untouched for millennia. 

Beidler Forest sits within the Four Holes Swamp, a 45,000-acre matrix of blackwater sloughs and lakes, shallow bottomland hardwoods, and deep bald cypress and tupelo gum flats. Four Holes Swamp is also a major tributary of the Edisto River, part of the Charleston area's famous ACE basin. Over 17,000 of the swamp's acres are owned by the National Audubon Society and make up what is known as the Francis Beidler Forest, which is less than an hour from Charleston and Columbia and located just north of I-26 outside the town of Harleyville, SC. It is easily accessed from either I-26 East or West, as well as I-95.

Beidler Forest was originally established to preserve 1,800 acres of old-growth swamp forest, one of only two such stands still left in the state. A 1.75-mile self-guided tour along the boardwalk trail allows visitors the chance to safely venture deep into the heart of the swamp to experience the peace and serenity that have characterized the area for centuries, to hear the sounds of bird and bug and breeze that have echoed through the trees for ages, to take a relaxing and informative walk back in time, and to see the swamp the way nature intended.

Canoe and kayak trips and naturalist-guided tours, bird walks, summer camps, and activities are also available seasonally and by reservation. The visitor center, restrooms, and boardwalk are all wheelchair accessible. One electric and one traditional wheelchair are available to borrow.

No pets, please.


Map Location

Map Directions
company map
336 Sanctuary Road, Harleyville, South Carolina 29448
GMT -5

Opening hours

09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

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