Criminal Defense Attorney inConestee, SC

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CDH Law Firm: Giving Hope to
Criminal Defense Clients in
Conestee, SC

Getting charged with a crime in Conestee can be a traumatic experience. Even "petty" crimes can cause an individual's life to fall apart professionally and personally. Spending time in jail is bad enough, but the ramifications of a criminal record run deep, resulting in loss of employment, loss of friends, and even family. For many people, having a zealous criminal defense attorney in Conestee, SC, to defend their rights is the only shot they have of living a normal life.

That's why, if you have been charged with a crime, you need the help of a veteran criminal defense lawyer early in the legal process. That's where CDH Law Firm comes in to give you or your loved one hope when you need it the most.

Our criminal defense law firm was founded to help people just like you - hardworking men and women who are looking at diminished employment opportunities and a possible lifetime of embarrassment. But with our team of experts fighting by your side, you have a much better chance of maintaining your freedom and living a normal, productive life. When it comes to criminal law in Conestee, we've seen it all. With decades of combined experience, there is no case too complicated or severe for us to handle, from common DUI charges to complicated cases involving juvenile crimes. Unlike some of our competition, we prioritize personalized service and cutting-edge criminal defense strategies to effectively represent our clients.

Criminal Defense Attorney Conestee, SC

Clients rank Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC as the top choice for Conestee criminal defense because we provide:

  • One-on-One Counsel
  • Education on the Conestee Legal Process and Its Risks
  • Ardent, Effective Representation
  • Commitment to Our Clients and Defending Their Rights
  • Prompt Inquiry Response
  • Robust Experience with Criminal Law Cases in Conestee
  • Innovative Defense Strategies
  • Effective, Thorough Research and Investigation

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer in Conestee can mean the difference between conviction and acquittal. Our firm has represented thousands of clients in the Lowcountry, and we're ready to defend you too. Some of our specialties include:

 Law Firm Conestee, SC

DUI Cases
in Conestee, SC

DUI penalties in Conestee can be very harsh. Many first-time DUI offenders must endure a lifelong criminal record, license suspension, and the possibility of spending time in jail. Officers and judges take DUI very seriously, with 30% of traffic fatalities in South Carolina involving impaired drivers, according to NHTSA. Criminal convictions can have lasting impacts on your life, which is why CDH Law Firm works so hard to get these charges dismissed or negotiated down. In some cases, we help clients avoid jail time altogether.

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Conestee, SC
When you hire our DUI defense firm, our team will always work towards your best interests and will go above and beyond to achieve the best outcome in your case. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI charges, we will investigate whether:
  • Your DUI stop was legal
  • You were administered a field sobriety test correctly
  • The breathalyzer used was calibrated correctly and properly maintained
  • Urine and blood tests were administered and collected properly

The bottom line? Our criminal law defense attorneys will do everything possible to keep you out of jail with a clean permanent record. It all starts with a free consultation, where we will take time to explain the DUI process. We'll also discuss your defense options and speak at length about the differences between going to trial and accepting a plea bargain.

DUI Penalties in Conestee, SC

The consequences of a DUI in Conestee depend on a number of factors, including your blood alcohol level and how many DUIs you have received in the last 10 years. If you're convicted, the DUI charge will remain on your criminal history and can be seen by anyone who runs a background check on you. Sometimes, a judge will require you to enter alcohol treatment or install an interlock device on your automobile.

If you're on the fence about hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Conestee, SC, consider the following DUI consequences:

Criminal Defense Attorney Conestee, SC

First Offense


48 hours to 90 days

in jail

with fines ranging from

$400 to $1,000

Second Offense


Five days to three years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$2,100 to $6,500

Third Offense


60 days to five years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$3,800 to $10,000

Additional consequences can include:


Alcohol or Drug Treatment

When convicted of DUI in South Carolina, most offenders must join the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. This program mandates that offenders complete a drug and alcohol assessment and follow the recommended treatment options.

 Law Firm Conestee, SC


Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Conestee may choose to complete community service in lieu of jail time. Community service hours are usually equal to the length of jail time an offender would be required to serve.

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Conestee, SC

Sanctions to Your Driver's License

Typically, when a person is convicted of driving under the influence in Conestee, their driver's license is restricted or suspended. The length of restriction or suspension depends on how many prior DUI convictions an individual has.

First DUI Offense

First-time DUI offenders must endure a six-month license suspension. Drivers convicted with a blood-alcohol level of .15% or more do not qualify for a provisional license. However, sometimes they may still drive using an ignition interlock device.

Second DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a second DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for two years.

Third DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a third DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for three years. That term increases to four years if the driver is convicted of three DUIs in five years.

Immobilized Vehicle

For offenders with two or more convictions, the judge will immobilize their vehicle if it is not equipped with an IID. When a judge immobilizes a vehicle, the owner must turn over their registration and license plate. Clearly, the consequences of receiving a DUI in Conestee can be life-changing, and not in a good way. The good news is that with CDH Law Firm, you have a real chance at beating your charges and avoiding serious fines and jail time. Every case is different, which is why it's so important that you call our office as soon as possible if you are charged with a DUI.

Traffic Violation Cases

Most drivers brush off traffic law violations as minor offenses, but the fact of the matter is they are criminal matters to be taken seriously. Despite popular opinion, Traffic Violation cases in Conestee can carry significant consequences like fines and even incarceration. If you or someone you love has been convicted of several traffic offenses, your license could be suspended, restricting your ability to work and feed your family.

Every driver should take Traffic Violations seriously. If you're charged with a traffic crime, it's time to protect yourself and your family with a trusted criminal defense lawyer in Conestee, SC. Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC is ready to provide the legal guidance and advice you need to beat your traffic charges. We'll research the merits of your case, explain what charges you're facing, discuss your defense options, and strategize an effective defense on your behalf.

Common Conestee
Traffic Violations That CDH Law
Firm Fights

There are dozens and dozens of traffic laws in Conestee, all of which affect drivers in some way. Our Conestee defense attorneys fight a full range of violations, including but not limited to the following:

Criminal Defense Attorney Conestee, SC
  • Driving Under Suspension: If you drive while your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, you could be looking at 30 days in jail and fines up to $300.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol is illegal and often results in jail time and fines.
  • Reckless Driving: You could be ordered to pay up to $200 in fines or jailed for up to 30 days if you drive with wanton disregard for the safety of other people.
  • Racing: You can be cited and fined if you aid or participate in street racing.
  • Hit and Run: When you leave the scene of an accident that involved injury to another party, you can be arrested. This serious charge can lead to up to one year in jail and fines of up to $5,000 for first-time offenders.
  • Disregard Traffic Signals: Drivers must obey all traffic signals and control devices, less they be ticketed and sometimes fined.

As seasoned traffic violation lawyers, we know how frustrating it can be to get charged with a Traffic Violation. While some traffic charges can be minor, others are severe and can affect your life for years to come. Don't leave your fate up to chance call CDH Law Firm today for the highest-quality Traffic Violation representation in Conestee.

Juvenile Crime Cases in
Conestee, SC

At Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC, we understand that children are still growing and learning about the world around them. As such, they may make mistakes that get them into trouble with the law. Children and teens who are arrested in Conestee can face much different futures than other children their age. Some face intensive probation, while others are made to spend time in jail.

This happens most often when a child's parents fail to retain legal counsel for their son or daughter. Cases referred to the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice often move quicker than adult cases, so finding a good lawyer is of utmost importance. With that said, a compassionate criminal defense attorney in Conestee, SC, can educate you and your child about their alleged charges. To help prevent your child from going to a detention center, we will devise a strategy to achieve favorable results in their case.

 Law Firm Conestee, SC
 Criminal Defense Lawyer Conestee, SC

Juvenile Detention Hearings

Unlike adults, juveniles don't have a constitutional right to a bond hearing. Instead, once your child is taken into custody a Detention Hearing is conducted within 48 hours. This hearing is similar to a combination of a Bond Hearing and a Preliminary Hearing. Unfortunately, there is little time to prepare for these hearings, which is why you must move quickly and call CDH law firm as soon as possible.

Our team gathers police reports, petitions, interviews your child at the DJJ, speaks with you about the case and talks to the prosecutor to discover if they have plans for detention. In most cases, we strive to avoid detention and seek alternatives like divisionary programs or treatment facilities. This strategy better addresses your child's issues and keeps them out of the juvenile legal system in Conestee. If your child is charged with a crime, and South Carolina decides to prosecute, your child will appear before a family court judge, who will find them delinquent or not delinquent. There are no juries in juvenile cases in South Carolina, which is why it's crucial to have a lawyer present to defend your child if they go in front of a judge.

Common penalties for juveniles charged with crimes in Conestee include:

Criminal Defense Attorney Conestee, SC
  • Probation: Children charged with probation are released to their parents or guardians. Depending on their charges, they must abide by certain stipulations while at home and may be subject to random drug screenings. Violation of probation often results in jail time.
  • 90 Days in Juvenile Detention Center: When probation is not a viable option, prosecutors may push for 90 days of jail time in a juvenile detention facility.
  • Juvenile Detention: Children who commit very serious crimes can be sent to a juvenile detention center for a long time. These sentences can last up to the child's 21st birthday.
  • School Expulsion: When a child is convicted of a crime, their school is notified of the offense. Sometimes, the administration may decide to expel the child from school for the misdemeanors or felonies they commit.

We Fight to Protect
Your Rights So You Can
Provide for Your Family

Whether you are facing a DUI charge or a serious traffic violation, CDH Law Firm is here to fight for your rights so you can continue living life. The future might seem bleak, but our criminal defense lawyers in Conestee, SC, have the tools, experience, and strategy to win your case, as we have with so many others. Don't lose hope call our office today and maintain your freedom tomorrow.

Ask us anything

Call Now 843-936-6680 PH

Latest News in Conestee, SC

Officials push to fix Conestee Dam to avoid ‘catastrophic’ break

GREENWOOD, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Tucked away in a cove off Lake Greenwood, Ralph and Lisa Cushing found their dream spot to retire.“We, you know, had big plans of being here the rest of our lives,” said Ralph.But that sunny plan became murky months after they moved in.“I don’t think I want to live on a toxic lake for the rest of my life,” he added.Fifty miles north of the Cushing home sits the ...

GREENWOOD, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Tucked away in a cove off Lake Greenwood, Ralph and Lisa Cushing found their dream spot to retire.

“We, you know, had big plans of being here the rest of our lives,” said Ralph.

But that sunny plan became murky months after they moved in.

“I don’t think I want to live on a toxic lake for the rest of my life,” he added.

Fifty miles north of the Cushing home sits the Conestee Dam.

The stonemasonry dam was completed in 1892 and is standing the test of time.

“Somebody who knew something built a dam that could last that long, but it won’t last forever because nothing does,” said Conestee Nature Preserve Operations Director Erin Knight.

“It is 70 years past its engineered life. It could fail at any time. It could last another ten years; we have no idea. We don’t know if it’s solid, if it has voids in it, and the investigation of that is impossible because as soon as you drill into it, you run into the risk of a cascade failure that could lead to a dam breach,” added Kelly Lowry.

Lowry is the Trustee for the Conestee Dam Restoration Project.

“The immediate aftermath of a dam break would be really catastrophic,” he says. “It’s a South Carolina concern for sure.”

Lake Conestee is full of contaminants from the textile mills that boomed in the Upstate from the 1890s to the mid-20th century.

“There was really little regulation about what could be dumped into rivers, so a lot of that came down the Reedy, and until it came to the lake, which was 130 acres originally, that stuff did not settle out, but it came and slowed right behind the Conestee Dam, and it remains there today,” explained Knight.

The Conestee Nature Preserve inherited the contamination and has managed the area around the lake for the last two decades.

Sediment in Lake Conestee collected by DHEC in 2021 shows concentrations of Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury all above EPA-acceptable standards. There are also higher than acceptable levels of pesticides and PCBs.

“As you get long-term exposure, health concerns could become a problem,” said Furman University Assistant Professor of Water Resources Dr. Gustavo Coelho.

Officials estimated there are between 2 million and 3.25 million cubic yards of sediment in the lake impacted by hazardous materials, enough to fill a football stadium 1.5 to 2 times.

“Most contaminants are contained in the Dam, and in case we have a spill or a break of the Dam those contaminants would go and spread downstream,” said Coelho.

That spread could go down to Lake Greenwood, Lake Murray near Columbia, and Lake Marion towards Charleston.

“It’s pretty much always on our mind. It isn’t just something that occasionally we’ll think about because I see how beautiful the lake is. It’s a big problem that has to get fixed,” said Cushing.

Officials have a solution in mind, creating a new dam a few feet downstream from the current one.

“The two would function really as a whole, they would work together to hold back the river and to hold back the sediments that are behind the existing dam,” said Lowry.

The price tag for that is $47.5 million.

“This is the year to do it, we have everything in place, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be moving forward,” said Knight.

The South Carolina legislature is debating whether to fund the solution. Lowry says the money could also come from private businesses, cities and counties in the area. He also didn’t rule out the possibility of federal funding.

After the new dam is funded, it will take three years to complete.

Copyright 2023 WHNS. All rights reserved.

Fix for leaking, 131-year-old Conestee Dam may be closer than ever. Here's what to know.

Pores in the 131-year-old Conestee dam have begun seeping potentially hazardous sediment downstream toward Lake Greenwood, a source of drinking water for residents in other counties.And although the masonry dam has withstood the test of time, the Conestee Nature Preserve and Foundation has long called for help implementing a solution.But through a renewed effort by the nature preserve, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and community stakeholders both up and downstream, plans to build a replacemen...

Pores in the 131-year-old Conestee dam have begun seeping potentially hazardous sediment downstream toward Lake Greenwood, a source of drinking water for residents in other counties.

And although the masonry dam has withstood the test of time, the Conestee Nature Preserve and Foundation has long called for help implementing a solution.

But through a renewed effort by the nature preserve, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and community stakeholders both up and downstream, plans to build a replacement dam about 10 feet from the current structure could soon become a reality.

"We're definitely excited that we appear to be moving, literally and figuratively, toward a concrete solution," said Gene McCall, an attorney for the Conestee Nature Preserve and Foundation.

Here's when toxic materials were discovered behind Lake Conestee Dam

Twenty years ago, toxic materials were first discovered within the sediment that had built up behind the dam, according to DHEC's website. The sediment had been building up since the dam was first built in 1892.

Before environmental protections like the Clean Water Act were put into place, companies and area textile mills used the Reedy River to get rid of toxic materials, allowing those toxins to attach themselves to the river's sediment, said Spartanburg-based environmental lawyer Kelly D.H. Lowry.

After the toxic materials were discovered, the Conestee Foundation partnered with DHEC to create what is called a voluntary cleanup contract.

According to DHEC, the contract did two things:

The contract said the foundation should allow cleaner sediments to collect and cover the older more contaminated ones. It also said the dam should remain in place to prevent the contaminated sediments from migrating downstream.

Over the years, DHEC continued to monitor the dam, issuing its most recent inspection report on Aug. 18, 2022.

That report rated the dam's condition as poor, and encouraged the development of a repair plan to "to address and control the seepage through the dam."

Also in 2022, DHEC received $3 million from the state budget to address long-term solutions to the dam's deterioration. The organization then approached Lowry last summer to oversee the spending of those funds.

Lowry said he asked the Kleinschmidt Group, an engineering consulting firm that had previously created a solutions report for the Conestee Foundation in 2019, to again determine the best path forward.

Consultants came to the same conclusion as before: the best path forward is to leave the current dam in place and build a concrete replacement about 10 feet downstream.

This plan was chosen, Lowry said because there is no feasible way to decontaminate the sediment without causing spillover.

With a new, concrete dam placed a bit further downstream, sediments can continue to seep through the older dam without impacting water quality for downstream residents.

Previous Reporting:'Trash jam' grows at Lake Conestee dam after recent flooding

'We're gambling every day:'Lake Conestee dam remains a flooding and environmental risk

Here's how much fixing Lake Conestee Dam will cost

But the project comes with a price tag of nearly $47.5 million.

Since a dam failure could create "significant harm" across multiple counties, Lowry presented the funding need to the South Carolina House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee, which is currently building the state's budget for the next fiscal year.

The committee included funding for a new dam in its budget proviso that was recently presented for consideration on the House floor.

During a presentation before Greenville County Council's committee of the whole on Tuesday, March 7, Lowry said the state might ask for local stakeholders — like the city and county — to help contribute funds to the repair project, but no formal requests have been made yet.

And while there is a way to go before any money is officially allocated, Lowry said area stakeholders are motivated and hopeful.

"There's abundant positive momentum," Lowry told The Greenville News.

If funding is approved by the state, work could begin as early as September, Lowry said. Kleinschmidt is currently drafting schematics for a new dam, which would take about three years to construct, Lowry said.

He expressed gratitude toward both the legislature and area stakeholders for coming together to create progress.

"This is the year for this project to succeed," Lowry said.

Tim Carlin covers county government, growth and development for The Greenville News. Follow him on Twitter@timcarlin_, and get in touch with him

Lake Greenwood residents demand action on aging dam

GREENWOOD COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — For more than a century, the Conestee Dam has held back water from Lake Conestee.According to DHEC, the dam is also holding back hazardous and toxic chemicals.Studies found that the chemicals were put in the water in the 1800s when nearby businesses and a nearby mill got rid of their waste.The Conestee Dam is aging, making many concerned that the dam will b...

GREENWOOD COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — For more than a century, the Conestee Dam has held back water from Lake Conestee.

According to DHEC, the dam is also holding back hazardous and toxic chemicals.

Studies found that the chemicals were put in the water in the 1800s when nearby businesses and a nearby mill got rid of their waste.

The Conestee Dam is aging, making many concerned that the dam will break and the chemicals will flow downstream into Lake Greenwood.

“If that dam goes, it changes everything,” said Ralph Cushing, who lives on Lake Greenwood and started the Facebook group, Save Lake Greenwood. “It will rush down here to Lake Greenwood basically ruining this beautiful community that we all live in.”

“Who wants to come to a lake that is known for toxic waste that has spilled into it?” asked Annemarie Humm, who also lives on Lake Greenwood.

In the last week, hundreds of people have joined the Facebook group, Save Lake Greenwood. They are raising awareness about the dam and urging state and local leaders to find a solution.

“It will impact everyone who lives near, on, and around the lake,” explained Humm. “Our drinking water will be impacted, possibly toxic, which would be horrible for everyone in this area, both counties. It would also [affect] our economy that is booming from restaurants to the new companies that come here.”

“The cleanup could be billions of dollars,” added Cushing.

Last year, the state secured $3 million to study the dam and come up with a plan. Experts decided the best solution would be to build a new dam 10 feet from the existing one. State Rep. John McCravy said it will cost about $48 million and take three years to build.

“To me, this is an urgent matter,” said McCravy. “I’m treating it as an urgent matter.”

McCravy told 7NEWS he brought this issue to the state house last week and is asking lawmakers to award the $48 million in the upcoming state budget.

“We certainly don’t want any kind of environmental issue in Lake Greenwood,” said McCravy.

The Conestee Nature Preserve provided a statement to 7NEWS. To read the full statement, click here.

The Conestee Dam, which is over 130 years old, has legacy contamination in the sediments ofits lake, and needs to be replaced to ensure those pollutants remain where they are; safelycapped by newer sediment. With $3M in funding in hand and a clear plan to secure allnecessary funds in 2023, Conestee Nature Preserve has a team of consultants and engineers,a DHEC-appointed trustee, and meets regularly with a regional stakeholder group to shareprogress and collaboratively seek solutions.

Erin Knight, Operations Director

To learn more about the group, Save Lake Greenwood, and their efforts click here.

‘It’s a great victory’: SC budget set to include money to fix Conestee Dam

GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Members of the South Carolina House and Senate reached an agreement on the state’s $13 billion budget last week.Included is $36 million for the Conestee Dam Restoration Project.Built in 1892, the ...

GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Members of the South Carolina House and Senate reached an agreement on the state’s $13 billion budget last week.

Included is $36 million for the Conestee Dam Restoration Project.

Built in 1892, the Conestee Dam is holding back millions of cubic yards of toxic chemicals and metals.

“I can say on behalf of the entire team that we’re grateful to the legislature for the funding they provided,” said Project Trustee Kelly Lowry.

The $36 million was a compromise between the original House and Senate budgets, which included $47.5 million and $30 million for the project respectively.

The money will help pay to build a new dam a few feet downstream, helping protect the current dam that is decades past its original lifespan.

“It’s a great victory. Hopefully, it will prevent a catastrophe that could be as high as $2 billion cost for our state,” explained Rep. John McCravy, who worked to secure funding for the project.

The total estimated price tag for the project is $47.5 million, but in addition to the state funds there are 4-5 other stakeholders that have pledged financial help, according to Lowry.

Those include utility companies, local governments, and more.

“(Senate negotiators) required stakeholder participation. We’ve achieved that. Secondly, they wanted to make sure there was no extra room in the budget for waste,” said Lowry.

Legislators will return to the state house on Wednesday for a vote on the budget.

“Soon as that’s done the governor will take up the budget, and he always has some line-item vetoes in the budget. I’ve been assured that this is not going to be one of those,” said McCravy.

The money from the budget would be available this fall, but the work has already started.

“This summer, we’re going to be in the area putting drill rigs into the creek and doing what’s necessary to determine where the dam must go and be safest. So that that data will be plugged into the design process over the fall and the winter and by spring to next summer we will be in a position to actually put the dam in place,” said Lowry.

The goal is to have the new dam in place by 2026.

Copyright 2023 WHNS. All rights reserved.

Lake Conestee Nature Preserve Guide

Lake Conestee Nature Preserve opened in 2006, and over the past ten years has become a favorite destination for families across the Upstate. The preserve boasts 12 miles of trail that crisscross 400-acres of forest and wetlands. With multiple entrances and all those trails, it can be intimidating to head off the beaten (or paved!) path at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve. However, we hope this guide will give you the confidence to more fully explore all tha...

Lake Conestee Nature Preserve opened in 2006, and over the past ten years has become a favorite destination for families across the Upstate. The preserve boasts 12 miles of trail that crisscross 400-acres of forest and wetlands. With multiple entrances and all those trails, it can be intimidating to head off the beaten (or paved!) path at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve. However, we hope this guide will give you the confidence to more fully explore all that Conestee has to offer with your family!

Lake Conestee Nature Preserve Vs. Conestee Park

First and foremost, it is easy to confuse Lake Conestee Nature Preserve (LCNP) with its neighbor, Conestee Park. Managed by Greenville County Recreation, Conestee Park has an enormous playground, stadium, baseball fields, dog park and picnic shelter. We often incorporate a stop on the playground before or after a hike in the nature preserve. For more about Conestee Park check out Kidding Around Greenville’s mom review of Conestee Park.

The multiple parking lots in Conestee Park are your best bet on weekends when the other, smaller lots might be full.

To complicate matters slightly, Lake Conestee Nature Preserve was known as Lake Conestee Nature Park until early 2020. The name change was done to better reflect the park’s environmental education and conservation mission.

Tip: Conestee Park has three separate restroom facilities that will probably be your closest restroom while on the trail.

Layout of Lake Conestee Nature Preserve

I find it easier to understand Lake Conestee Nature Preserve’s layout if I imagine it split into five zones: north, east, south, west and central. This transfers to the official Lake Conestee Nature Preserve trail map, which uses the abbreviations N, E, S and W to describe its entrances.

East Area

From the county park there are four different entrances into Lake Conestee Nature Preserve known as the east entrances (accessible from Mauldin Road). E1 (East entrance 1) is near the dog park and is the north entrance to the popular Racoon Run trail, which runs on the east bank of the Reedy all the way to south of the baseball diamonds.

E2 is the Reedy River bridge entrance, which connects with the heart of the preserve; the bridge is the only way across the Reedy River within LCNP. E3 is at the end of the parking lot that is south of the stadium, and E4 is next to the baseball diamonds; it leads to Forrester Farm, the East Bay and the other end of Raccoon Run. Other trails on this bank of the Reedy include Sapsucker Spur, Coyote Cut-Thru, Chickadee Link and Dragonfly Way.

These trails (with the exception of the E2 trail that leads to the bridge) are not stroller-friendly, and mostly serve as access points to Raccoon Run (except Dragonfly Way, which is a nice loop around Forrester Farm near the end of Raccoon Run, adding ¼ mile to your route).

South Area

The south end of Lake Conestee Nature Preserve is off Conestee Road. At the point where the road crosses the Reedy River there is a good view of the Historic Lake Conestee Dam which once powered Historic Conestee Mill.

After crossing the bridge turn right on one-way Spanco Drive; this is where the parking lot for the first south entrance (S1) is; it’ll be to your right just after passing the mill. S1 is the southernmost point of the Swamp Rabbit Trail and features a picnic area, the trailhead, and gorgeous views of South Bay.

Another access point, S2, is at South Pine Circle and Conestee Road. Rusty Link serves as a connector to the Swamp Rabbit Trail; these are the only trails on the south end of the preserve. As the Swamp Rabbit Trail curves around South Bay and up north past Crescent Slough to the heart of the Nature Preserve, you’ll find a couple of observation decks that are great places to rest while you look out over the water.

West Area

The Swamp Rabbit Trail cannot follow the Reedy River through the center of the preserve as it is mostly wetlands and open water. Instead, it loops around Bone Marrow Creek to the west end of the preserve, in two spots utilizing boardwalks to cross the creek and sections of marsh.

There are four entrances on this side. W1 is next to the Belmont Fire Station, but it is very important that you only use the LCNP parking; if it is full, head to the W2 entrance which is the LCNP office at 601 Fork Shoals Road. Here, in addition to the parking lot and picnic area you’ll find restrooms (if the office is open) and trail access to the Swamp Rabbit Trail and Henderson Farm via the Stone House Spur and Spring Lizard Link trails.

Further north the W3 access point is at Chatham Drive and Henderson Avenue, and then there’s a parking lot at W4 (Meadors & Henderson Avenue)– although the gate isn’t always open.

The west area of the park features several miles of trail. The Stone House Spur and Swamp Rabbit Trail are paved, perfect for cycling and strollers, while the other trails such as White Tail and Flat Tail Trail (which connects to the fire station) are dirt trails. Several picnic areas and viewing overlooks are scattered throughout, offering scenic views of Marrow Bone Creek and the Henderson Farm meadow.

North Area

The north area is actually a separate unit from the rest of the preserve, and is accessible from the parking area N1 at 415 Churchill Circle. The Swamp Rabbit Trail connects the north section to the west portion; follow the signs on Churchill and Chatham from N1 to W3. N2 is the other access point, marking the north boundary of the preserve at Brushy Creek.

From here the Swamp Rabbit Trail proceeds north along Reedy River to Parkins Mill Road and I-85. Hopefully this missing section will eventually be completed to connect to where the SRT picks back up again at Cleveland Street and Pleasantburg Drive, but until then cyclists looking to connect the two must use Parkins Mill Road and Cleveland Street, two rather busy roads.

There are only two trails in this section of the preserve; Tree Frog Trail hugs the Reedy River for most of its 0.8-miles, looping around to connect to the Swamp Rabbit Trail which cuts straight through Breazeale Farm.

The Heart of Lake Conestee Nature Preserve

Finally we are left with what I call the heart of the nature preserve, the area bordered by the Reedy River to the east and the Swamp Rabbit Trail to the south and west. This section is mostly wetlands, with boardwalks and trails extending on all sides around West Bay and North Slough.

It includes Sparkleberry Island and the River Otter Way and Froggy Bottom Link trails, the rest of Flat Tail Trail (which originates at the Fire Station on the west end), the Sparkleberry Connector (paved trail running from the bridge to the Swamp Rabbit Trail) and various connectors such as Gray Fox, Turtle Run and Possum Run. The highlight of this central area are the observation points.

The “Birdnest” observation deck and Heron Spur (features #9 and #11 on the map) on opposite ends of West Bay offer great views of the Great Blue Heron nests in the center of the bay, while the learning loops and teaching areas on Sparkleberry Island tell the history of the area and introduce visitors to the animals and plants that call Conestee their home.

Things to Do

Other than hiking and biking, there are many other fun things to do at Conestee Nature Preserve. LCNP is one of our favorite destinations for birdwatching. The National Audubon Society has designated the preserve as an Important Bird Area of Global Significance, and over 220 bird species have been reported by the Greenville County Bird Club. You can join the Greenville County Bird Club on a guided bird trip in the preserve on the third Saturday of every month.

The nature preserve also offers a multitude of educational opportunities. For a list of field trips offered for homeschoolers, schools and other groups, please visit the LCNP website.

But there is one thing you don’t want to do at Lake Conestee Nature Preserve, and that’s go swimming. The lake was created when the Reedy River was dammed at the Conestee Mill in 1892. The lake originally covered about 130 acres, but over the years industrial waste and discharge filled about 90% of it with sediment so toxic that the lake was classified a Superfund site.

Safety studies of the brownfield site were completed, and it was determined that the best course of action would be to leave the toxic sediment in place. For more information, please visit the LCNP website.

For those interested in finding out more about the history of the area, the Lake Conestee website is the perfect place to start. Everything you need to know before you visit can be found here, including a map of the trails.

What is your favorite place to visit in Lake Conestee Nature Preserve?

This article was originally published on Femme au foyer.


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