Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve

On Monday, October 3rd, we left the inn in Greenville, South Carolina in order to make our way to the hotel near the Charlotte Airport. Since our flight was on Tuesday morning, I had already investigated things to do in Charlotte but during my research I got the feeling that the city layout was a bit confusing and busy. This inspired me to come up with another plan for the day. Continuing my research, I discovered a few things to do in the city of Spartanburg, about 40 minutes outside of Greenville.

First up was a tiny, little gem called the Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve. This preserve was created by Josephine and Harold Hatcher over 50 years ago, when they created a sanctuary in their backyard. What began as a garden on 3 acres of land, expanded to about 13 acres by the time the preserve was donated to the Spartanburg County Foundation. I must say they packed a lot into those 13 acres.

At the entrance were two interesting sculptures, one of a rather large caterpillar resting on the top of a fence. He did take up one side of the fence, so I was justified in saying that it was large. The second sculpture was the butterfly shown above.

From here, we began our exploration on a perimeter trail through the garden. After finishing the perimeter loop, we made another circle on the inner loop.  I think the layout of the garden is what made it so charming. There seemed to be a maze of trails throughout the sanctuary. The perimeter loop was paved and now I could not remember if inner loop trail was paved or packed dirt.

The maze of paths within the woods seemed like suggestions, inviting people to explore.  There were numerous benches in these wild areas where visitors could contemplate the streams and waterfalls throughout the park. All the bridges looked brand new, which added to the beauty of the place. There were also a few gazebos and a deck overlooking the stream. In some areas, we found little free libraries so people could sit in nature and enjoy a book. To me, it doesn’t get any better than that!

The only unfortunate thing was that we were visiting this garden after the flowering season was over. On the preserve website, I saw over 100 plants and flowers listed over the four seasons. I would have loved to see the butterfly garden when it was in bloom. We spent over 45 minutes exploring the various sections of the garden. Without a map, I don’t know if we hit everything there was to see, but during the flowering season I know I would have spent more than an hour here.

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