Winter view of green algae covering a small pond used as a seasonal rookery on International Paper's Hamilton Ridge tract in Hampton County, South Carolina.  South Atlantic Coastal Plain ecoregion.
Green Algae Winter view of green algae covering a small pond used as a seasonal rookery on International Paper's Hamilton Ridge tract in Hampton County, South Carolina. South Atlantic Coastal Plain ecoregion. © Mark Godfrey/The Nature Conservancy

Places We Protect

Francis Beidler Forest in Four Holes Swamp

South Carolina

Francis Beidler Forest is the world's largest virgin cypress-tupelo swamp forest.

What TNC Has Done/Is Doing

Francis Beidler, a champion of conservation practices, acquired this part of Four Holes Swamp in the 1890s. After his death in 1924, family members maintained his conservation values by preserving the property until the 1960s. At that time, The Nature Conservancy and the National Audubon Society combined their resources to purchase what is now Francis Beidler Forest. In October 2003, TNC and National Audubon Society once again partnered to expand the forest with the protection of a 909-acre key inholding acquired from MeadWestvaco.

Why You Should Visit

Francis Beidler Forest, a registered National Natural Landmark, is the world's largest virgin cypress-tupelo swamp forest. Located in Four Holes Swamp, the Forest is approximately 12,500 acres with more than 1,800 acres of ancient trees, some dating back 1,000 years. Four Holes Swamp begins as a small swamp stream in Calhoun County and flows 62 miles through four counties before it joins the Edisto River and the Atlantic Ocean. A wildlife sanctuary and environmental education center located at the site is dedicated to preserving the Forest and fostering community involvement in the conservation of our natural world.