Greenville County Bird Club
Favorite Birding Areas

Although birding can be enjoyed right in you own back yard, there are certain spots with habitats which are ideal for attracting a wide variety of species. Some of our favorite places in Upstate South Carolina and nearby Western North Carolina are listed here along with descriptions and driving directions from Greenville. In addition to the sites listed below, you will find a comprehensive list of birding hotspots on the Carolina Bird Club's website for South Carolina and North Carolina.

South Carolina

Lake Conestee Nature Park

Ashmore Heritage Preserve

Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve

Caesar's Head State Park

Jones Gap State Park

Dobbins' Farm - Townville, SC - Directions: From Greenville go south on I-85. Take exit #11 (SC 24). Turn right and go 1.7 miles then turn left on Fred Dobbins Road (just past the radiator shop). Continue on Fred Dobbins Road, checking fields on both sides. Then take a left on Beaverdam Road (brown sign – Beaverdam WMA). Continue down Beaverdam Road and check both ponds, both cattle feeding troughs, and trampled areas. Check fences and fields. Then take a left into Beaverdam WMA, park and walk straight ahead to waterfowl ponds. Leave in the direction you came, and take a right onto Gaines Road. Cross Fork School Road and park along the road leading to bar gate. Walk @ 200 yards to the bridge on Fork School Road, birding the entire area. Then walk past the bar gate to the end of the road where it runs into the lake, birding the area along the road and edge of the lake. Then take a left on Fork School Road, crossing the bridge where you previously birded, and take a left on Bradberry Road. Cross SC 243 and take the first left on Grant Drive. Bird the lower end of this road where Grant Drive crosses the lake. Take a left onto Milford Road, then a right on SC 243 to I-85.

North Carolina

Elisha Mitchell Audubon’s Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary Ashville, NC Directions: Take I-26 west to Asheville then merge onto I-240 east. From I-240 east, take Merriman Avenue (US25) north for about two miles. As you pass an Ingle’s grocery store on the right, get in the left lane. Just beyond the Beverly Hanks Realty there is a guardrail on the left. Turn into the Sanctuary parking lot just beyond the guardrail, opposite Dover Street.

Chimney Rock Park - Take Highway 25 North (White Horse Road) into North Carolina. Follow signs to Interstate 26 West and Asheville (do not take Highway 25 into Hendersonville). Get on Interstate 26 West. At Exit #49A (Old Exit #18A - Bat Cave and Highway 64 East) get off and turn right onto Highway 64 East. Go 15 miles and the Park entrance will be on the right.

Hooper's Lane / NC 191 - Directions: From Greenville, take US 25 North to I-26 West. Take the NC 280 exit from I-26 and turn left (west). This is the Asheville Airport Exit. After approximately 4 miles you will come to a traffic light at the intersection with NC 191 (Haywood Road). Turn left. After approximately 1/2 mile, turn left onto Jefferies Road. There will be open fields on the right hand side of the road. Continue for about 2 miles to Hooper's Lane on the right. This is a gravel/dirt road with farm fields on either side of the road. A few hundred yards down the road on the left is a farm gate and an orange Allied Van Lines trailer parked beside an irrigation ditch. This trailer sits on Super Sod property. They allow birding along the edges of their fields, but DO NOT block gated driveways and DO NOT walk or DRIVE on planted fields. Park only along the edge of Hooper's Lane. Hooper's Lane continues on back to NC 191. Turn right to return to NC 280 or turn left to Hendersonville.

Jackson Park, Hendersonville NC - Directions: From Greenville, take US 25N to the Flat Rock exit. Follow US25 through Flat Rock on into downtown Hendersonville. At 4th Avenue, turn right. 4th Avenue ends in Jackson Park. Continue into Jackson Park to the Administration Building (looks like a large old home). Park in the parking lot in front of the Administration Building, then walk 100 feet back to the nature trail. Jackson Park is a favorite birding spot for many bird clubs. After a few visits, you'll understand why!

Lake Julian Park Southern Buncombe County (Ashville), NC - Directions: From Greenville, take US 25 North to I-26 West. Take Long Shoals Road (NC 146) east from I-26 (Exit 6) or west from Hendersonville Road (US25). The park entrance is opposite Overlook Road.

Stecoah Gap Robbinsville, NC - Directions: From Greenville, take US 25 N to I-26 W. towards Asheville. From I-26, take I-40 W. towards Knoxville. Go 18.4 miles on I-40 W to Exit 27 which is US 74/19/23. Continue West on US 74 (at times it is also US 19, US 23, or US 441) for another 46 miles. At 46 miles, US 74 will be joined by NC 28. Continue on US 74W / NC 28N for another 3.1 miles and stay on NC 28 North to Robbinsville/Fontana when it splits off to the right. Go 11.6 miles to NC 143 and turn left towards Robbinsville. After 1.1 miles you will reach the House of Prayer church on your left. Go another .6 mile to the top of the hill. On the left you will see a parking area, a picnic table, a gated Forest Service Road and the Appalachian Trail. This is Stecoah Gap. If you continue on another few miles you will come to Robbinsville where there are gas stations, fast food, etc. Many warblers can be found along the Forest Service Road in late April and early May. In addition, there are an abundance of wildflowers blooming at the same time.

Blue Ridge Parkway, NC - Directions: From Greenville, take US 25 North to I-26 West. Take exit #33 onto NC 191 West and follow the signs to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Alternately from Greenville, take US 276 West through Traveler's Rest, and Brevard until it intersects with the Blue Ridge Parkway. Many excellent spring, summer and fall birding spots along the Parkway. Note that road closures are common in the high country and it's always a good idea to call the information line before you leave home. That number is 828-298-0398. The recording is typically updated early each morning, but it may not necessarily get corrected during the day when conditions change, so don't assume 100 % accuracy in the reports. The recording gives you instructions (touch tone choices) for accessing road status for NC or Virginia. The information is usually given using mile markers, so you will probably need a map or guide book unless you are very familiar with the Parkway.