Francis Beidler Forest
|Francis Beidler Forest|
Cypress knees from the Beidler Forest.
|Location||South-central South Carolina|
|Area||16,000 acres (6,500 ha)|
|Governing body||National Audubon Society|
The Francis Beidler Forest is an Audubon wildlife sanctuary in Four Holes Swamp, a blackwater creek system in South Carolina. It consists of over 16,000 acres (65 km²) of mainly bald cypress/tupelo gum swamp with approximately 1,800 acres (7 km2) of old-growth forest. It has an environmental education center and a 1.75-mile (2.82 km) boardwalk trail through the old-growth portion of the swamp. A free iPhone/iPod Touch app can be downloaded from the iTunes Store to provide information and images not available in the printed guidebook as well as species lists for plants and animals likely to be seen from the boardwalk. It is a favorite haunt of birdwatchers and is used for biological research projects by area schools. The Audubon Society which maintains the preserve has recently obtained funding with which to purchase additional adjacent land to expand the preserve. It is home to the largest virgin stand of cypress and tupelo forest, with some trees over 1,000 years old. On May 30, 2008 the forest was designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1979.
At high water there is guided canoeing in the swamp, which offers a different perspective as one paddles through the shallow channel and cypress knees.
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