Kalmia Gardens, Hartsville

4.8
#102 of 154 in Parks in South Carolina
Kalmia Gardens is a mature botanical garden located at 1624 West Carolina Avenue, Hartsville, South Carolina. Part of Coker College, it is open daily without admission.The gardens were established in the early 1930s by Mrs. David R. Coker on the land, which had become a neglected dump. Mrs. Coker made trails, dug a pond, and planted ornamental species including azaleas, camellias, tea olives, and wisteria. In 1935 she opened the gardens to the public, and in 1965 she gave them to Coker College. The centerpiece of the gardens is the Thomas Hart House, built in the 1820s, and the home of the town's founder. It and the gardens are on the National Register of Historic Places.Kalmia Gardens encompasses a blackwater swamp along Black Creek, and uplands of pine, oak, and holly. Due to its unique geology, being situated on a 60-foot north-facing bluff, it has an abundance of naturally-occurring mountain-laurel Kalmia latifolia. The namesake plant blooms in great profusion in May. Other montane plants grow together with coastal plain plants, making for a unique assemblage of flora. Many animal species live in the dense woodlands as well, and Kalmia Gardens is well known as an excellent birding spot.
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Kalmia Gardens Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
51 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful grounds! With 1.5 to 3+ acres to walk or ride your bike. Go with comfortable shoes and clothing as it gets pretty humid the deeper you go into the trails.  more »
  • We stopped by since our hotel was only 6 minutes away and the Sandhills Wildlife Refuge was a disappointment. The Kalmia Gardens has so many paths and nooks with flowers (most dying since we visited O...  more »
  • Love to walk and explore at Kalmia Gardens. The boardwalk goes over Black Creek and also follows it, allowing you to get an up-close view of a true cypress swamp and flowing creek habitat.  more »
Google
  • Love this place. As the information guides state, it is a place for reflection and tranquility. You can walk the paths through the woods and admire the trees, birds, Black Creek, and the squirrels of course. There is a 3 mile loop and a shorter 0.5 mile. A well maintained spot where you can wander in the woods.
  • Beautiful place to go for some nice nature walks..trails are really pretty and well maintained.
  • Very nice area! Walk around down in the swamp or enjoy the beautiful nature up on the hill!
  • Beautiful year round. Check out the lily pond, Artesian Well, and boardwalk
  • It was very nice to get out into nature.

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