Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve
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Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve

Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve comprises 460 acres and is co-managed by the S.C. Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR owns fee title to 155 acres and holds a conservation easement on the remaining 305 acres, owned by TNC.

Located in Lexington County, South Carolina, the preserve harbors the largest sandstone outcrops in the state, the only waterfall in the coastal plain, a swamp tupelo-evergreen shrub bog and a longleaf pine ecosystem. It is located in a valley at the headwaters of Hunt Branch which feeds into Second Creek and then the Congaree River.

The geology of Peachtree Rock is significant because of the unusual sandstone formations and abundance of fossil evidence. The formations originated when oceans washed over the area leaving marine fossils, beach-like sand and intertidal deposits.

The vegetation in the valley near the waterfall is in contrast to that on the dry, sandy ridge above. Mountain laurel, tulip or yellow poplar and maple-leafed viburnum can be seen in the wet areas, while lichens cover the rock surfaces and ferns grow near the creek. On the ridge, pines and turkey oaks dominate the dry soil, which is well drained and poor in nutrients. Overall, more than 245 different plant species have been documented on the preserve.
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