Wonders of the Woods

Did you know?

  • Hitchcock Woods is named after the Hitchcock family, who owned and enjoyed the Woods during Aiken’s early history.
  • The Hitchcock family established the Hitchcock Foundation in 1939 to protect and maintain the Woods for the recreational use and enjoyment of the people of Aiken.
  • Hitchcock Woods is owned and operated by the Hitchcock Woods Foundation, and funded through donor support.
  • Since 1985, the Hitchcock Woods Foundation has expanded the 1,190 acres donated by the Hitchcock family, to 2,100 acres today!
  • Hitchcock Woods is one of the largest urban forests in the nation.
  • Hitchcock Woods is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Hitchcock Woods is a designated Heritage Trust Preserve with most of the property under a conservation easement through the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, due to its natural and historic significance.
  • Urban forests are good for the environment and good for you too! For more information click here.
  • Hitchcock Woods is 2,100 acres, about 2 ½ times the size of Central Park!
  • In 1833 the longest railroad in the world ran through Hitchcock Woods, on what is now known as the “Cathedral Aisle” trail.
  • Hitchcock Woods contains a well preserved remnant of tracks from the 1833 Charleston to Hamburg Railroad – the longest in the world at its time and the first steam powered. For more information click here.
  • A river of sand called “Sand River” runs through Hitchcock Woods. This can become quick sand after a heavy rain so be careful! (“Danger Quick Sand Sign” graphic)
  • Hitchcock Woods is home to a variety of wildlife and plant species. Be sure to pick up a map at one of our kiosks to learn more about them or click here.
  • There are 6 species of pine trees in Hitchcock Woods (Longleaf, Loblolly, Slash, Virginia, Short Leaf, and Pond). You can distinguish them by their needles and pine cones. The Longleaf pine produces the largest pine cones in the Woods.
  • Prescribed fire and forest thinning are used to keep the Woods healthy, and to restore the Woods to its original Longleaf Pine Wire Grass ecosystem.
  • The Foundation’s efforts to restore the Longleaf Pine Wire Grass ecosystem has resulted in the restoration of the federally endangered Red cockaded-woodpecker. (A former Woods resident!) To learn more click here.
  • Archaeologists have discovered artifacts in the Woods dating back to 11,000 years ago! To learn about the Archaeological Survey of Hitchcock Woods click here.
  • The sandy trails in Hitchcock Woods are evidence that this pine forest was once beachfront property 20 million years ago! (An Ancient Beach!)
  • Equestrians, hikers, dog walkers, and joggers enjoy the 70 miles of sandy trails that provide access to the stunning variety of ecosystems in the Hitchcock Woods.
  • Hitchcock Woods is open to the public, on horseback or on foot, from dawn to dusk 365 days a year.
  • Woods admission is free thanks to donor support.
  • There are seven main entrances to Hitchcock Woods, each one takes you to an amazingly different looking part of the Woods so be sure to visit each of them.

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