Cypress Gardens, SC discovering beauty of a blackwater swamp.



Cypress Gardens, SC is a picturesque blackwater swamp, which was once the area’s largest rice plantation.

Its history dates back as far as the 1700’s, when the Lord’s Proprietor first established Berkeley County.

The Garden was the filming place of the movie “The Patriot”, with actor Mel Gibson, and the movie “The Notebook”. Originally Cypress Gardens was part of Dean Hall. This 163-acre swamp was part of a 3,000-acre pre-Civil War estate, and the swamp irrigated the rice fields of the plantation.

And in the 1920’s was transformed into one of the most beautiful swamp gardens of our era.

Benjamin R. Kittredge, the owner of the swamp at that time, was looking around the swamp and happened to see the reflection of a red maple tree on the calm water of the blackwater swamp and had the idea to transform this swamp into a colorful garden.

He began planting azaleas, daffodils, wisteria, and dogwood trees among other beautiful flowers. As of today there have been thousands of people visit the gardens.

Wildlife is abundant, and when walking down the nature trails in the secluded area of the Garden, many hikers and bird watchers can be seen.

The swamp is shared by wood ducks, otters, barred owls, alligators and many other species all through the year, and one never knows what they will see.

The Butterfly House is a 2,500 square foot building those features many different species of butterflies, caterpillars, and turtles.

As you walk through the building you can see birds flying over your head. Built in 1997, this wired house is posted with many information signs that describe each species. The Freshwater Aquarium is a 24,000 gallon aquarium that hosts around 20 different species of fish and 12 different species of reptiles that are found in the swamp.

Built in 1998, it has some of the largest aquatic salamanders in captivity and some very large bass, bluegill, crappie, bowfin, and channel catfish.

These fish get caught in the minnow traps that lie along the paths, and hiking trails, and longnose garfish, have been trapped and set loose in the aquarium.

It offers a nice gift shop that you can purchase many different souvenirs.

Cypress Gardens is located at 3030 Cypress Gardens Rd. in Moncks Corner, SC.

The admission fee is $10.00 for Adults, $5.00 for children, and children under 5 years old are free. Seniors age 65 and over is $9.00.

There are boat rides available.

It is a great place for a vacation that you will not forget. And it is just a short distance from Charleston.

We visited Cypress Gardens last month and it was really an adventure.

We took the ride on the flat bottom canoe; this was a little scary because you could see two alligators on the bank of the swamp.

Then as we were moving along in the water, one of the alligator came in the water.

The pleasant young guide assured us the alligator was afraid of the boat and would not come near us. WHEW!

After returning home, I told several family members about the adventure of the alligator coming in the swamp while we were taking the canoe ride and didn't really think anymore about it.

About a week later I was visiting one of the family member and to my surprise the lady looked me in the eye and said I would like to visit Cypress Gardens but no way am I taking a canoe ride across the swamp.

Then another relative called me and said the same thing about the ride across the swamp.

I would never ask someone to do anything that might frighten him or her, but this really was fun.

My sweet family was really scared that I would ask them to ride the canoe and no way would I do that.

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WAHM