Forest Management

The Hitchcock Woods Foundation is solely responsible for the ecological stewardship of the Woods and the physical maintenance of its recreational trails and features. The Foundation maintains the over 70 miles of recreational trails contained in Hitchcock Woods as well as the physical structures and features in the Woods, including over eighty equestrian fences, Aiken Horse Show Grounds structures, and eight informational Kiosks and map boxes located at each entrance to the Woods.

Ecological Stewardship

An ecological assessment and Management Plan for Hitchcock Woods guides the Foundation’s forest management activities. The purpose of this plan is to assure the long-term ecological health and integrity of Hitchcock Woods through Restoration, Preservation, Management and Appreciation.

  • Restoration:
    • To restore and conserve high-quality native plant and animal communities found in Hitchcock Woods by recreating the natural processes to which they were adapted or to devise management methods to mimic these processes. Click here to learn more about the Foundation’s efforts to restore the historic longleaf pine wiregrass ecosystem and how these efforts have also re-established suitable habitat for the federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker.
  • Preservation:
    • Preserve the significant and natural vegetation of the Woods for conservation, natural heritage, and educational purposes.
    • Preserve historic and culturally significant sites in Hitchcock Woods.
      The Foundation completed a three year archaeological survey of the Woods in 2017, resulting in an inventory of historically significant sites, artifacts, and a Cultural Resources Management Plan to guide our efforts to share and protect them for future generations. To learn more about this survey click here.
  • Management:
    • Manage the Woods for the sustainability of current and Biologically Significant Associations.
    • Accommodate and manage current and anticipated recreational demands of the growing city of Aiken.
    • Maintain and enhance the aesthetic values to maximize the enjoyment value and appreciation of Hitchcock Woods.
    • Evaluate threats to the Woods and its management and develop strategies to moderate those threats. To learn more about the Foundation’s current efforts to address the damage to the Woods caused by stormwater runoff from the City of Aiken, click here.
  • Appreciation:
    • The Foundation hosts a variety of educational events and outreach programs to foster an appreciation of the natural, historic and traditional significance of Hitchcock Woods. To learn more about our education and outreach efforts click here.


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