At 575 acres, the Blue Wall Preserve in upper Greenville County represents one of the most important natural areas in the southeastern United States. To begin, it is part of a patchwork of protected lands in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains, where 22,000 acres have been conserved by private landowners and nonprofit organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, which owns and operates this section for public use.
Further, the Blue Wall Preserve hosts an especially diverse set of ecological habitats, ranging from “hardwood uplands, Virginia pine successional forest stands, saturated southern shrublands, cold water streams, majestic waterfalls and open-water ponds” (1). Finally, it is home to at least 114 species of birds, earning the Audubon Society’s “Important Bird Area” designation.
The Blue Wall Preserve is significant for more than its magnificent environment however. The Blue Wall Passage, located within the preserve, comprises a 14-mile leg of the Palmetto Trail, a hiking, bicycle, and equestrian path that will eventually connect South Carolina’s mountains to her coast.