The Black River narrows are one of those secret Lowcountry pearls.
A stretch south of state Highway 41 where the wide river constricts to little more than a creek, the river curls its way through a hardwood bottom to open up again in a vast cypress swamp.
The five miles of primitive woodlands are prized by paddlers and anglers. They just grew by an additional mile.
The Nature Conservancy, which already owns nearly 1,300 acres on the south bank of the Black River Swamp, just bought an additional 440 acres on the north bank between Pine Tree and Pumphouse landings, connecting a corridor of its properties to easements held by private property owners, Ducks Unlimited and the Pee Dee Land Trust.
The bottoms are haunted by 1,000-year-old bald cypress and creatures such as the swallow-tailed kite - a type of hawk distinguished by the tail and its white and black, almost gull-like, appearance. It glides with a quiet grace, rarely flapping its wings. It can glide to a stop in midair.