If you don't know that we at Examiner appreciate a good walk in the woods, you just haven't been paying attention. In any case, today's column is about a little-known Aiken County asset--Boyd Pond Park--that deserves a bit of attention from all local environmentally minded folks, especially those who like to "take a walk in the woods" occasionally. From Aiken, Boyd Pond Road is just a few minutes' drive out Silver Bluff Road. From North Augusta, taking US 1 East to SC 421 gets you to Storm Branch Road, the first right off of 421, which connects with the other end of Boyd Pond Road. A mile and a half later (from either end,) gets you to the park.
Boyd Pond Park is a 210 acre little bit of gentle wilderness that just happens to include the following attractions:
• 1) A 30 acre pond for fishing or boating (no gasoline motors, please)
• 2) A two mile hiking trail that roughly circumnavigates the pond
• 3) About 5 miles of mountain bike trail
• 4) An Observatory with regularly scheduled events
• 5) A multi-field baseball complex
• 6) Soccer fields
• 7) An R/C model racetrack
• 8) A geocache course for enthusiasts and bird watchers
• 9) Numerous picnic areas and benches for meditation or just plain sittin'.
The park (apparently) is not exactly over-utilized by area hikers, or birders for that matter. For the hikers, the two mile loop is enjoyable, while not particularly taxing. The five mile bike trail, on the other hand, provides a level of difficulty for hikers (and bikers--i.e., bicyclists) that will push the level of difficulty up a few notches. As for those who call themselves birders (proudly call themselves birders, that is,) Park Supervisor Vincent DiPietro mentioned that he had seen about fifty different bird species on one recent outing, even though he does not consider himself particularly knowledgeable when it comes to identification (your Examiner would beg to differ.)
Selfishly, perhaps, many current users would like to see this under-utilization continue. Still, this being a public facility, all who might like a close-in, convenient little bit of nature would want to find out about the opportunities provided by Boyd Pond Park. And, for the record, the price is right! Unlike some state facilities, Aiken County apparently believes a county park is for all county residents (and polite visitors)--not just for those who would want to pony up a "user fee."
Take a look at the accompanying slide show to get a better idea of what's there. If you have specific questions, you might give the Park Supervisor a call at (803) 642-0314, or drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Park is open for business during daylight hours except when observatory programs push the time limitation into the early hours of darkness. Since the park is about a fifteen to twenty minute drive from either Aiken or Augusta, the possibility to easily enjoy its potential is there for everyone. Maps to find your way to the park are available on the County's web site. Give it a try and, if you're so inclined, drop a line to your Examiner at email@example.com if you disagree with our assessment of the park, or if you would just like to pass on any comments.
And, of course, thanks, as always, for visiting Examiner.com.