|Hike Name:||Whooping Crane Pond|
|Nearby Town:||Hilton Head|
|Directions:||Whooping Crane Pond is located within Hilton Head Plantation (which requires a permit for access). Enter through the main gate then look for signs for Whooping Crane Pond after about a mile on the right. If you hit a stop sign where you must turn either right or left - then you have gone too far.|
|Total Hike Distance:||0.90 miles|
|Hike Type:||Roundtrip, Loop Hike|
|Hike Starts/Ends:||Whooping Crane Pond Parking Area|
|Trails Used:||Nancy Cathcart Path, Whooping Crane Pond Boardwalk|
|Backcountry Water Sources:||None|
|Contact Information:||Hilton Head Island Land Trust
P.O. Box 21058
Hilton Head Island, SC 29925
|Best Season:||Winter, Spring, Fall|
|Road Conditions:||Primary Paved Roads, Secondary Paved Roads|
|Hike Summary:||The 137-acre Whooping Crane Pond Conservancy is located on Hilton Head Island within Hilton Head Plantation. It consists primarily of freshwater black gum (or tupelo) forested swamp and open "savannah" swamp. A swamp edge transition zone of thick, head-high bushes separates the swamp from the pine dominated uplands and the habitat supports approximately 75 plant species and 100 wildlife species.
This pleasant hike in Hilton Head Plantation has two components. The first is along the Nancy Cathcart Path which winds through a dry pine forest and joins with the second section of "trail" on the Whooping Crane Boardwalk. The boardwalk is an impresive engineering feat in itself and obviously took significant effort to build (and I expect requires significant effort to maintain.) The area formed as a shallow valley between ancient shoreline dunes, and the swamp is fascinating to explore over the course of about 0.5 miles (which includes the nancy Cathcart Path). Views from the platform areas are sure to offer bird sightings among other things.