Last Friday (or Saturday, or today, for that matter) was a great day to get out and visit one of the Central Savannah River Area’s local environmental treasures, Aiken’s Hitchcock Woods. It was sunny and 80-ish, with a smattering of clouds, so, needing to put in an appearance on “Examiner,” I grabbed a few things and headed towards Aiken’s downtown. The junction of Laurens and Richland Avenue (US 1 and SC 19) is considered by many to be the center of town. So let’s start there.
From that central point, if you’re on Richland, coming from Augusta, you need to turn right onto Laurens. If you’re on 19, coming from Edgefield, you need to continue to go straight. If you’re on US 1, coming from Columbia (Richland Avenue, again,) you need to turn left, and, if you’re on Laurens, headed North, you need to turn around. Confused? If not, that’s certainly not my fault.
If you’re able to avoid stopping at one of Aiken’s fine antique stores, or “Smitty’s Men’s Shop”, or Chris’s Cameras, or any of several fine dining establishments, Malia’s, the West Side Bowery, or the local mini-brewery, the “Brewpub”, for example, continue to go straight on Laurens past the first traffic signal you come to (corner of Laurens and Park Avenue) and proceed straight ahead South on Laurens. If you go over a bridge (over the railway) and proceed down a hill you are going the right way. At the bottom of the hill is the junction of Laurens and South Boundary. Turn right and drive South into the woods to get to the main entrance of Aiken’s Hitchcock Woods.
When I say “Aiken’s Hitchcock Woods,” I am simply following local custom. The woods is really a trust managed by the Hitchcock Woods Foundation for the benefit of equestrians, the local community, and anyone wishing to have a safe outing in a southern forest environment. The woods are generally open to the public for walking or horse riding during daylight hours. Some restrictions apply, though, and the woods may be closed during fox hunts or during controlled burns. When you get to the entrance of the woods you will also be at the Foundation’s offices. If you have any questions about the woods’ availability, I’m sure Foundation personnel will be happy to talk with you. There is an information kiosk at the entrance to the woods, though, that will provide answers to frequently asked questions should the office be closed. While you’re on the internet, the Foundation’s web site is available–you might want to check it out after you finish here.
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