Explore 90 Newly Preserved Acres in South Carolina’s Historic Lowcountry

Discover Palmetto Bluff, a landmark development

smithsonian.com

Spanning 20,000 acres between Savannah and Charleston, Palmetto Bluff represents the very best of South Carolina's Lowcountry. Set against the backdrop of the May River at the intersection of forest, marshes and waterways, it is the East Coast's largest waterfront property and has enchanted visitors for centuries with its remarkable views and abundant wildlife. Native Americans, explorers, Civil War soldiers and glamorous socialites have all been captivated by this landscape, and artifacts dating as far back as 10,000 B.C. have been uncovered. At the dawn of the 20th century, wealthy New York banker Richard T. Wilson Jr. and his wife Marion transformed the land into a hunting estate, attracting the New York and Newport elite in droves.

Today, Palmetto Bluff is evolving as a residential community and conservation preserve. In 2003, the Conservancy at Palmetto Bluff was founded to protect the property's natural and historical wealth. Crescent Communities, which purchased the property three years earlier, began working in tandem with the Conservancy to ensure that the stewardship practices of previous owners were continued. Crescent has since protected hundreds of acres under conservation easements and significantly reduced the number of homes to be built. Similar endeavors followed, including delineation and protection of wetlands, maintenance of food plots for wildlife and education of property owners on the benefits of "green” building.

With the opening of the spectacular Moreland Village, the Bluff’s commitment to conservation has reached new heights. Designed around the land's natural features, the residential village blends seamlessly into the landscape. Numerous nature trails connect the community to gathering places in the woods and along the water, making it the perfect base for exploring the Lowcountry.

What's more, Crescent Communities’ donation of 90 acres of land to the managed forest of Palmetto Bluff has expanded protections for this unique natural landscape. The managed forest within the Bluff is both wild and delicate, made up of several environmentally sensitive and species-rich habitats. Beneath the shelter of charming southern magnolias, regal red oaks, blue stem palmettos and dozens of other trees, residents can spot all manner of wildlife, from white-tailed deer to the elusive eastern wild turkey to elegant white ibis and minks foraging along the marshes' edge. Soon boardwalks will offer another view of the preserve, located within walking distance of Moreland Village, and provide the Conservancy with an outdoor classroom unlike any other. Lectures exploring the area's flora and fauna, as well as its historic features, such as the remnants​ of old rice fields, will take place weekly.

Thanks to these endeavors, visitors to modern-day Palmetto Bluff can enjoy the same spectacular views of the May River that have been enjoyed for generations.

Learn More About Conservation at Historic Palmetto Bluff.

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