There’s no denying Heggie’s Rock is unusual. It happens to be one of the finest remaining examples of a Piedmont flat rock outcrop. But even that description doesn’t capture what it’s like to come upon a 130-acre rock outcrop rising about 70 feet above neighboring Benton Branch and Little Kiokee Creek. It is so exceptional that in 1980 it was designated as a National Natural Landmark.
Heggie’s Rock Preserve spans some 101 acres in Columbia County, about 20 miles from Augusta in eastern Georgia. The preserve is near Little Kiokee Creek which joins the Savannah River about eight miles downstream from the preserve. While the preserve includes a perimeter forest of oaks, pines and hickories, it is the granite outcrop, Heggie’s Rock, which dominates. It is here you see exposed granite, lichen and moss covered rock, soil islands and the beautiful vernal pools, or dish gardens, which support rare and unusual plants, and capture the imagination.
The preserve is noted for its unusually high diversity of plant and animal life because it includes the dry outcrop, forests and beaver-impounded streams.
Over the years, forward thinking individuals, industry and local governments have ensured that Heggie’s Rock was protected. With Heggie’s Rock Preserve, The Nature Conservancy is furthering that goal by working with private groups, volunteers and state and local agencies to monitor the rare plants on the site, eradicate non-native invasive species and protect it from excessive erosion. Development from the rapidly growing Augusta area and nearby Fort Gordon means the site has become vulnerable to unsupervised use. The Nature Conservancy is working to educate the community about the preserve and encouraging supervised tours to showcase this natural wonder.
Animals at Risk
- Outcrop-endemic invertebrates, including Spooner’s flightless midge (only at Heggie’s Rock)
Plants at Risk
- Mat-forming Quillwort
- Pool Sprite
- Granite Elf Orpine
- Granite Whitlow Wort
- Missouri Rockcress
Ecosystems at Risk
- Granite outcrop woodland/grassland complex
Open on a limited basis. For a listing of current tour dates and to sign up for a tour, please visit our events page. Arrangements can also be made by calling (404) 873-6946 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.