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Kalmia Gardens, Hartsville

#113 of 275 in Parks in South Carolina
Must see · Garden · Nature / Park
Kalmia Gardens (30 acres) 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 (Osmanthus fragrans), 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. There is also an artesian well located just beyond the entrance to the trails.

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Kalmia Gardens reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
76 reviews
  • Very nice place, clean place, ideal for family outings, hiking and meditation. I went in the beginning of the spring, I want to go back in the summer.  more »
  • Great walking trails. Nice park. Great place to walk your dog or take the kids ona nice day. I love to go there on my lunch break and just see the pretty foliage.  more »
  • Its so peaceful. I used to love the days my parents would take me and now I’m bring my kids here so often to enjoy the nature
  • Perfect place to relax and enjoy. It is so thick with woods it's cool even on a hot day!!! DOG FRIENDLY 😍❤️

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