Heritage Shores Nature Preserve in North Myrtle Beach is a kid friendly, dog friendly, wildlife friendly seven-acre park in the Cherry Grove community. With a 40-station trail and interpretive signage, it’s a great outdoor activity, even when it isn’t beach weather.
Surrounded by the Cherry Grove Marsh and House Creek, this surprising park is a treasure trove of birds, fish, crabs, mammals, and plants just blocks away from the busy beach traffic. A series of elevated boardwalks and sandy walking paths take you around the island and through or over numerous wildlife habitats. There are also some stunning views of the creek and the marsh, which photographers often take advantage of.
The park came into existence when local residents teamed with the South Carolina Conservation League and the Sierra Club to save the island and its environmentally important natural habitats from developers. Through a series of land purchases the property was secured and in 2006 construction began on the trails and boardwalks. Heritage Shores Nature Preserve officially opened in January 2007.
In addition to four boardwalks, there are two observation decks, one in the center of the island overlooking an interior lake, and one that stretches out into House Creek. The trails also weave beneath hammocks of live oaks, wax myrtles, and the sour cherry trees from which Cherry Grove gets its name.
Along the way you’ll find two picnic pavilions with tables and a few benches for sitting and enjoying the view. Interpretive signage explains the plants, birds, fishes, and other animals you might see. The trails are clearly marked, and the undergrowth is thick with prickly pear cactus, so it is advisable to stay on the path. There are also a few environmentally sensitive areas that are marked as such.
The park is pet friendly for well-behaved dogs on a leash. Please be respectful of others and pick up after your pet and deposit in the cans provided at the entrance to the park.
As you come onto the island at the boat trailer parking lot you’ll see Cherry Grove Park and Boat Ramp ahead and a little to the left. You can park in any of the available parking spaces, but please, do not park in a trailer space if you are not towing a boat. There is a small, designated lot across from the boat trailer parking for those visiting Heritage Shores Nature Preserve and a much larger lot to the left behind Cherry Grove Park.
Cherry Grove Park is a popular fishing spot and features a fishing pier, a two-lane boat ramp with a floating dock that gives boater access to both House Creek and the Atlantic Ocean via Hog Inlet, a picnic pavilion, a birding shelter overlooking the marsh, and restrooms.
Both Cherry Grove Park and Boat Ramp and Heritage Shores Nature Preserve are located at the east end of Cherry Grove. Follow North Ocean Boulevard to 53rd Avenue, then turn away from the beach and go about four blocks. You’ll cross a one-lane bridge and the parks are on your left and on your right, on either end of Heritage Drive.
Both parks are part of the North Myrtle Beach Parks and Recreation Department. They are free and open to the public for day use. For information call NMB Parks at 843-280-5570.
You might also like visiting nearby Vereen Memorial Gardens in Little River for pet friendly hiking, picnicking, and fishing.
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