Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve – Swansea, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Lexington County Photos | Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve
Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve is located in Lexington County, near the small town of Swansea. The 460-acre preserve is co-managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy.
The preserve is home to many prehistoric sandstone formations, including Peachtree Rock pictured here. They originated millions of years ago, when oceans washed over the area leaving behind marine fossils, sand, and intertidal deposits.
The rocks’ unique shape is a result of the softer sandstone on the bottom eroding at a much faster rate than the upper section, which is strengthened by a layer of ironstone. Their unusual shape was said to resemble a peach tree, giving the rocks their common nickname.
The preserve also hosts abundant plant diversity. The mountainous plants galax (Galax urceolata) and mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) grow on slopes and at the lower stream heads, while the xeric, sandy ridge above is home to mostly pines and turkey oak (Quercus laevis).
The preserve also harbors the Midlands’ only naturally-occurring waterfall.
The preserve’s most well-known rock is roped off from visitors. The malleable sandstone tempts people to carve into the rock, leaving the formation in precarious condition. The rocks are wonders to experience, but to ensure that they remain another million years, the Department of Natural resources asks that no one climb them.
UPDATE: On Sunday, December 8, 2013, the Peachtree Rock toppled. To date, it has not been determined if the downing was natural or the act of vandals. However, it is known that vandals carving into the rock over the years accelerated the weakening of the formation’s base.
Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve Info
Address: Peachtree Rock Road, Swansea, SC 29073
Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve Map
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The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!