Mission Of This Blog

The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest. Topics include (but are not limited to): Travel & Photojournalism, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Americana, Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Fandom, Local Folklore ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

My Trip To The Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve

Autumn has finally fully matured here in Upstate South Carolina, and with it comes the beautiful fall foliage as the trees turn wonderful shades of orange, browns, reds, and golds....with some evergreens mixed into the warm colors. 

November in this part of the American Southland is the best time to take great photographs of the fall leaves.

So on Saturday, November 5th, I got in my 2008 Dodge Caliber and drove east across the Catawba River to neighboring Lancaster County in order to get photos of perhaps one of the best local sites for viewing the autumn colors in an breathtaking natural setting. 

The Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve is perhaps one of the most diverse natural habitats in Upstate South Carolina. The place is designated as a National Natural Landmark and covers a radius of 2,267 acres. The preserve is managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

The main attraction of the preserve is a large granite flatrock that gives the place its name. Though actually only about 14 acres, it is still a breathtaking site. The view of the Piedmont region that stretches out from the granite rock at the peak of the preserve gives the 14 acre rock an illusion of being much bigger. 

The site is a great spot for avid trail hikers. During the spring, water collects in depressions which provides a habitat to a variety of specialized plants such as lichens, mosses, and even the endangered pool sprite, attracting botanists and naturalists of all kinds to the site. 

Unfortunately, the site is also used notably as a canvas for taggers and young people who gather illegally after-hours to build bonfires and smash glass bottles. It is advisable to wear good climbing books with thick treads when visiting the site.

I arrived at the upper parking lot located closer to the rock itself and took the nearly mile hike from the parking area to the great granite rock. I stayed about an hour enjoying the sites and views (this was my third official visit to the place) and getting some very outstanding photographs. 

The following are the pictures I took of my visit.

Rocks leading to the entrance of Forty Acre Rock tagged with graffiti.
The small depressions in the granite where mosses of various types
grow also make good natural fire pits for some.
Almost like being on the surface of the moon -- that is if Luna had
moss, graffiti and broken beer bottles dotting it.
Graffiti tags of all types cover some parts of the rock itself.
As I have mentioned before, the conservationist in me cringes at this sort of thing.
Yeah...I'll have to take your word for it, pal.
This looks like a good spot for a human sacrifice, huh?
Look up from the bottom of the rock.

Finally, the the last two shots -- the first one taken by a helpful fellow hiker -- me and my shadow standing on top of Forty Acre Rock, just enjoying the view. 

As always I hope y'all enjoyed my photographic journal. I hope to have more shots of the amazing autumn colors at local sites of interest later this month, weather permitting.

Driving Directions To Forty Acre Rock: Starting from the intersection of US 601 and SC 903 (about 7 miles north of Kershaw, South Carolina), drive north on US 601 for about 1.5 miles. Take a left onto Nature Reserve Road. The lower parking lot is about .5 miles on the left. This parking lot is near the beaver pond. To reach the upper parking lot, drive north on Nature Reserve Road for 2.5 miles then take a left onto Conservancy Road. Follow Conservancy Road to the end. This parking area is closest to the actual rock.

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