Williamson Park Woodland Preserve is a 70 acre cypress swamp running along Swift Creek located three blocks from historic downtown Darlington SC.
In 1928, Bright and Margaret Williamson gave more than 50 acres of land to the people of Darlington to create Williamson Park. Thanks to additional gifts of land, the Park now includes approximately 70 acres of cypress forest, through which Swift Creek meanders. Williamson Park Drive, a one-way paved road, runs along the southern rim and affords a picturesque view of the Park.
In its earliest days camellias, azaleas, and other ornamentals were planted; ever since, however, the Park has been treated as a woodland preserve. The most recent emphasis is on removing invasive species and planting native trees and flowers.
Thus, the understory of the Park contains a mixture of native species and older, traditional garden plants. The large trees that shade the Park are all natives which are characteristic of South Carolina’s cypress swamps.
An ice storm in the late 1960s, followed in 1989 by Hurricane Hugo, caused severe damage to the Park, but community support for this tranquil place is strong. Renovated boardwalks, bridges, and footpaths provide ample opportunity for visitors to see the more than 300 plant and animal species that flourish here. The 1.1 mile Loop Trail allows bird watchers, dog walkers, and nature lovers of all ages to enjoy a unique experience in the heart of Darlington.