Francis Beidler Forest Four Holes Swamp Trail, South Carolina

The South Carolina Lowcountry's "real swamp" experience!

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) knee, part of the tree’s root system; photo by Mark Musselman

National Recreation Trail

Designated in 1984

• View more details for this trail
in the NRT Database

• Learn about the NRT Program.

The National Audubon Society's Francis Beidler Forest located in Four Holes Swamp, SC contains within its 15,000 acres, the largest remaining stand of virgin Baldcypress and Tupelo Gum swamp forest left anywhere in the world.

Wander along an elevated boardwalk that starts and ends at visitor center past ancient trees, black water swamp, clear pools, and wildlife. Thousand-year-old trees and native wildlife abound in this pristine sanctuary that has been untouched for millennia.

A 1.75-mile self-guiding 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 into time... to see a swamp the way nature intended it to be!


  • Nothing done to lure wildlife, however over 300 vertebrate species are possible!
  • 140 species bird list
  • Excellent songbird habitat and great for spring migrants
  • 7 species of woodpecker possible
  • Barred Owl heaven
  • 40 species reptile list
  • Snakes, turtles, lizards, alligators all frequently seen in warm seasons
  • Native mammals, fish and amphibians abound on the sanctuary but may elude casual observation