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Travelers Rest's Bunched Arrowhead Preserve home to endangered plant

Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve, Travelers Rest. Traces of snow can be seen atop Paris Mountain, which sits in the background. (Photo: James Richardson) Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve, Travelers Rest. Traces of snow can be seen atop Paris Mountain, which sits in the background. (Photo: James Richardson)

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. - Located off Tigerville Road just outside of Travelers Rest city limits sits the nearly 180-acre Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve, home to a rare plant with the same name.

Owned and managed by the SC Department of Natural Resources, the preserve features a family-friendly, 1.25-mile hiking trail that traverses a diversity of habitats ranging from grassy fields to brushy fields to upland pine-hardwoods to bottomland hardwoods.

Visitors can see a variety of birds, including grasshopper sparrows, blue grosbeaks, indigo buntings, bluebirds, cardinals and quail, to name a few.

With help from the Nature Conservancy, the property was purchased to protect the federally-endangered bunched arrowhead plant (Sagittaria fasciculata), which occurs in wetland seeps within rare Piedmont seepage forest. Also known as duck potato, Indian potato, or wapato, the plant produces edible tubers that were heavily collected by the Native Americans as a food source.

"Sagittaria fasciculata" by USFWS. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Other rare plants that can be found at Bunched Arrowhead include climbing fern (Lygodium palmatum) and dwarf-flowered heartleaf (Hexastylis naniflora).

GETTING THERE (Map below):

From U.S. Highway 25, travel approx. one mile east on Tigerville Road and turn left onto Shelton Road. Follow Shelton Road for approximately 1 mile and turn right on McCauley Road. The Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve parking area will be about 1/2 mile down the road on the right.  

The walking trail forms a large loop starting and ending at opposite sides of the parking area. The area is open only during daylight hours. No hunting is allowed.

Note: Be advised that poison ivy and dog ticks are abundant at certain time of the year.

For more outdoor areas worthy of exploration, visit the Tribune's "Destination" page here .