While it may sound nice to visit the beach and never return, you’re sure to find the urge to explore during your North Myrtle Beach vacation. Lucky for you, there’s plenty of room to roam along the Grand Strand… without going far from the loving embrace of the sandy shores. One place worth prioritizing near Cherry Grove Beach is Heritage Shores Nature Preserve – easily one of the most unique parks in the area, and sure to provide a lively day of discovery for all ages.

This oceanfront preserve was created in 2007. Situated on an island that extends into the Cherry Grove Marsh, regulation protects the preserve’s native state. A series of elevated boardwalks and observation docks provide access through and around the preserve, where more than seven acres of walking paths feature interpretive signage at dozens of stations describing the wide array of plants, animals, fish and bird species that can be discovered here. The site is ideal for outdoor recreation, including fishing, kayaking, hiking, and birdwatching.



Photo Credit: battistelladomenic via Instagram

The fishing pier at Hog Inlet is home to a variety of fish, including silverside, flounder, pinfish, striped mullet, and Atlantic croaker. You may even spot a dolphin or two during your walk of Heritage Shores Nature Preserve!

Note: no fishing is allowed directly inside of the Heritage Shores Nature Preserve, instead you may walk back to the parking area and the dock in front of the boat launch to fish.


Photo Credit: jandlkayaktours via Instagram

Looking for time on the water? Paddle through the Cherry Grove marsh by kayak to adventure through hidden saltwater creeks and observe marine life in their natural habitat. You can view Heritage Shores Nature Preserve from a new angle by kayaking from the exterior of the Nature Preserve.


Photo Credit: bethanytn via Instagram

You don’t have to be a seasoned hiker to explore the scenic mile-long boardwalk loop through the marshes and forests. While on your stroll, keep an eye out for resident wildlife, like white tail deer, red foxes, raccoons, crabs, and oysters!

The Heritage Shores Nature Preserve is home to many unique and special species that are not often found in others places around North Myrtle Beach.


Photo Credit: shutterstock.com

Among the wildlife at the preserve, the birds may be the most renowned. A prime spot for birdwatching, it is home to blue herons, pelicans, white ibis, and great egrets, as well as double-crested cormorants, osprey, hawks, and owls.

Park amenities include two shaded picnic shelters and a boat dock. Restrooms, parking, and additional boat dock/ boat launches are available at Cherry Grove Park. Leashed dogs are welcome. The nature preserve is located at the end of 53rd Avenue North next to the boat ramp at Cherry Grove Park, and admission is free year-round.

Heritage Shores Nature Preserve – GOOGLE MAP

5611 Heritage Dr, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582 • (843) 280-5584 • Website

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