Just on the other side of I-95 from Woods Bay State Natural Area  near the town of Lynchburg are two adjacent Heritage Preserves devoted to a unique and rapidly diminishing ecosystem.
The Longleaf Pine Heritage Preserve (803/734-3886, www.dnr.sc.gov , daily dawn–dusk, free) is an echo of what was once the dominant habitat throughout the Southeast, featuring a very different and more aesthetically pleasing species of pine than the typical slash pine monoculture that replaced it in order to feed the pulp and paper industry. Longleaf pine is a fire-dependent ecosystem, so this preserve is managed through prescribed burns by the state Department of Natural Resources.
Bird-watchers can find the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker here and botanists will enjoy the wildflower displays, as well as the presence of the rare Canby’s dropwort.
Get to the Longleaf Pine Heritage Preserve from exit 141 off I-95. Take Highway 53 south to Three Mile Branch Road and take a right. Continue to S-31-101. Take a right and the preserve entrance is close by, a couple miles ahead.
The Lynchburg Savanna Heritage Preserve (803/734-3886, www.dnr.sc.gov , daily dawn–dusk, free) also features the longleaf pine habitat, some pond cypress savanna, the unusual pocosin bog habitat, and some distinctive “fern fields.” The whole mix brings a nice variety of flora and fauna to the area, and botanists in particular will love this preserve and its whopping ten species of rare carnivorous plants. In winter bird-watchers can find four species of sparrows rarely seen in one place: Bachman’s, song, Lincoln’s, and field sparrows.
To get to Lynchburg Savannah Heritage Preserve from Longleaf Pine Heritage Preserve, continue east on county road 101 and take a left on Highway 53. Continue past Atkins and take a left onto S-31-327. The preserve is about five miles ahead on the right.
Keep in mind there are no facilities to speak of at either location, and hunting is sometimes permitted.