The Great Backyard Bird Count: Visit Cayce and West Columbia
From February 12 – 15, 2021 – Take part in The Cornell Lab’s global Great Bird Count this year! Visit the Cayce and West Columbia area parks to see a wide variety of birds. Then share pictures of birds, yourself, and others birdwatching in your yard or at favorite birding spots like our Riverwalk Parks and 12,000 year History Park. This unique area of South Carolina hosts a variety of bird species you can access along 20+ miles of easy-to-walk or bike trails with multiple entrance points, free parking, shelters (groups can rent for free) and restrooms. These historic lands have seen 12,000 years of history across an ancient floodplain. The Congaree River makes up a 50-mile Trail that connects the Three Rivers Greenway and rural communities to Congaree National Park, the largest wilderness in South Carolina. Stay in the middle of the birding activity in Cayce and West Columbia! Our safe and friendly towns provide hotels and cafes perfect for a long weekend or week-long adventure.
Plan your outdoor getaway and capture birds and wildlife at each of the parks.
Click here for a cute video about fishing on the river. You will spot some birds in this video and see the beautiful river!
We’ve included suggestions below that bird enthusiasts and nature photographers might enjoy:
12,000 Year History Park at 1120 Fort Congaree Trail, Cayce, SC – The park is open for walking during daylight hours. Restrooms are located across the street at the Tennis Center during operating hours of the Center. Hotel adjacent to park: Courtyard Columbia Cayce (click for hotel website)
Cayce Riverwalk – Access at 201 Naples Ave, Cayce, SC – 12 miles of pathways with views of the Congaree River. Dense forests provide a popular place for birds, including owls, eagles, and hawks. Free parking and restrooms on site. The city’s large pavilion is perfect for hosting a bird watching group. Coffee can be purchased nearby at Piecewise Coffee on State Street. To access, just follow Naples Avenue east down toward the Congaree River to the “parking” signs. ADA accessible. The City of Cayce offers golf cart tours of the Riverwalk for seniors and people with limited mobility. Call (803) 602-2571 for more information. Click here for a map of the Cayce Riverwalk
Timmerman Trail located at 12th St. Ext. at Otarre Pkwy, Cayce, SC – 3.5 miles of paved hiking trail that runs through the woods.
Congaree Creek Heritage Preserve – 634 Old State Rd., Cayce, SC – The 627-acre preserve, owned and managed by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, borders the Congaree River and Cayce, SC A parking area is available on the right of Old State Road just before the pavement ends. The old trenches are now ponds where you can view duckweed, water fowl, and water lilies. Note: trails are more rustic here and may be wet during recent rains!
Cafes and restaurants to try in Cayce, SC: Henry’s, Duke’s Pad Thai, Lizard’s Thicket, Vella’s Restaurant & Bar; for a full listing, click here
Also, be sure to check out the bird art at State of the Art Gallery in Cayce!
West Columbia Riverwalk – 109 Alexander Road, West Columbia, SC – Convenient public parking and restrooms on site.
Food in West Columbia, SC: Eat across the street with a bird’s eye view of the river at Black Rooster Rooftop Restaurant and Bar (click for site). Other nearby eats include Cafe Strudel West Columbia or The Hideout for breakfast and lunch. You might also try Palate. There’s a legendary burger and ice cream place called Zesto West Columbia just down the street. For a full restaurant listing, click here.
Stay near the West Columbia Riverwalk: Residence Inn by Marriott Columbia West / Lexington 122 Mathias Rd.; Hampton Inn Columbia I-26 Airport 1094 Chris Dr.; and TownPlace Suites by Marriott/West Columbia 2915 Sunset Blvd., West Columbia, SC. For a full listing of local hotels, click here.
If you still need to find more birds, we’re just a few miles from the Congaree National Park as well.
Photo credit: Annemarie Keene