Edwin M Griffin Preserve

Leaving the Hatcher Garden Preserve, we made a brief stop in downtown Spartanburg and walked the length of Maine Street for a bit before searching for our next destination. With just one minor glitch, we found one of the parking areas for the Edwin M. Griffin Preserve hidden within a residential district.

The Edwin Griffin Preserve was a 115-acre nature area just minutes from the downtown area. The primary trail was the Cottonwood Trail which looked like it ran through the center of the park. There was about 5 miles of trails to explore, most of them branching off from the Cottonwood Trail.

Once out of the car, we studied the maze of trails on the posted trail map in order to come up with a plan. Since we still had to make our way to Charlotte before the end of the day, we decided on a short loop by following a section of the Cottonwood Trail to our right, looping around the Loblolly Trail and back to the Cottonwood Trail to return to our starting point.

The Cottonwood Trail was a lovely, wooded path that ran next to Lawson’s Fork Creek, so almost our entire walk was within sight of water. We found some plants that we knew since they were also abundant in Maine, including Christmas Ferns, Goldenrods and Asters. Others, we were familiar with but seemed to grow in abundance around here, including English Ivy and Holly. In fact, the Ivy covered most of the trees in many of the parks we had visited. I also spotted some tiny white flowers (pictured here) all along the trail, which I identified as Mexican Clover. Every few minutes we would smell something sweet, so we finally decided to trace the source and discovered tiny white flowers on the trees lining the path. When I investigated later, I narrowed it down to either a Thorny or Autumn Olive.

A short while later, we could see a school and parking area through the trees. We had reached the end of the Cottonwood Trail and turned on to the Loblolly Trail to make our return journey. At the entrance, we found a bench and finished off the cheese and crackers we had bought the day before. While we enjoyed our lunch, I studied an intriguing butterfly sculpture nearby. Since the light was reflecting through the butterflies, some of the colors were illuminated, particularly parts of the blue butterfly and a small orange portion of the upper one. This lighting certainly added to the artwork.

After finishing our lunch, we continued our drive towards Charlotte. Early the next morning we were heading back to Maine.

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