Conservation // 5 min Read

Preserving River Road

Written by Palmetto Bluff

May 5, 2020

Sitting on the eastern edge of Palmetto Bluff adjacent to the May River and Cooper River lies 130 acres of protected maritime wilderness. Known as River Road Preserve, this massive plot of land was given an additional 122 acres in 2007 as a conservation easement that will be shielded in perpetuity from development.

What is a conservation easement?

The primary goal of a conservation easement is environmental protection. Therefore, a conservation easement is a legal restriction of development and usage of a given property to conserve natural resources. In the case of the River Road Preserve, the purpose is for natural resource protection and to provide a unique series of wilderness trails.

A magical place located beneath the shelter of century-old live oaks, the River Road Preserve includes some of the best maritime forests at the Bluff. It's also home to several species of plants and wildlife...

  • Habitats: islands, maritime forests, mixed pine hardwoods, pine flat woods, evergreen wetlands, and hardwood bottoms
  • Plants and Trees: sprawling live oak, southern magnolias, eastern red cedar, and cabbage palmettos
  • Wildlife: white-tailed deer, eastern wild turkey, opossums, raccoons, mink, coyotes, grey fox, and bobcat (bonus: when the tide is up you can see fiddler crabs and redfish)
  • Birds: wood storks, great egrets, snowy egrets, great blue herons, tricolored herons, summer tanagers, and painted bunting

The next time you're out exploring the Bluff, be sure to take some time and explore the River Road Trail, which incorporates parts of two old plantations, Pettigrew and Moreland.