While many folks come to Ocean Isle Beach to soak up the sun and frolic in the warm waters of the Atlantic, many others come to the area to explore the surrounding ecological features. One such place, and a personal favorite of mine, is the Green Swamp.
Located a short 20 minutes drive from Ocean Isle Beach is the Green Swamp Preserve. The preserve encompasses over 17,000 acres and is home to some of the country’s finest examples of longleaf pine savannas. The open savannas have a diverse herb layer with many orchids and insectivorous plants.
Brunswick County itself has the largest number of rare species of any of North Carolina’s 100 counties. A number of plants and animals are found here and nowhere else.
The Green Swamp contains 18 species of orchids and at least 14 different species of insectivorous plants, including:
- extensive populations of Venus flytrap
- four species of pitcher plant
- 18 species of orchids
On your next visit to the area, why not pack your hiking boots and binoculars and spend an afternoon exploring this wonder of Brunswick county? There are hiking trails throughout the swamp and vast savannas, which provide ample space for bird-watching or photographing rare plants and wildflowers.