Turtle 1: Start on Main Street at the Legacy Square fountain. Begin your search where the water spouts higher. See Colonel, Amelia, Abraham & Amber, each a Red-Eared Slider. We live in fresh water all around the state. Basking on logs is our well known trait.
Turtle 2: Turn right on Lewis Street by the side of the lot. Continue down the sidewalk to the historical marker spot. Search for the Snapping Turtle, Joab is my name. When looking for food all around the south, anything is fair game! The side steps of the Hagood-Mauldin House are my new home. Watch out for your fingers, I bite to the bone!
Turtle 3: Go back to the fountain and turn right down the street. I am the Bog Turtle, Brick, waiting to greet. I live in the summer wetlands of the upcountry eating bugs. In the winter I hibernate in the cool, squishy mud. Come to the Burning Brick if you’re looking. Both are welcoming places with fresh home cooking.
Turtle 4: Continue west to find the smallest turtle in the state. I’m Swimmy, the Musk Turtle, and tiny water creatures are my bait. I live in the water and need it to be clean, just like you! I swim in water and drink it, my prey lives there too. So please conserve your water when you brush your teeth or shower. Turn right on Ann Street, I’ll see you at the water tower.
Turtle 5: Back on Main Street, west you still must go. Come rest at our Amphitheater and like me, take it slow. I am the Mud Turtle, Ernest, who likes his water still and clean. In water throughout the state and the southeast I have been seen. I like to eat crunchy crayfish and other small bait. In the winter I dig in the cool earth to hibernate.
Turtle 6: Heading further west, to Florence Street you must go. The Chamber of Commerce welcomes you and gives out free info. I am the Diamondback Terrapin, Skyagunsta, it’s Cherokee. Also Andrew Pickens name, our hero who made this area free. I live in coastal salt marshes eating crabs and stuff like that. I’m protected because of loss of habitat.
Turtle 7: Careful now as you run to the church right across the street. Walk past the front to the patio, where the faithful Presbyterians meet. I’m Hollingsworth, the Gopher Tortoise, laying only 4 to 7 eggs. I dig long dens with my strong shovel-like legs. I hail from the dry sandy lower part of the state. I’m endangered, please protect me, so I can live to 108.
Turtle 8: Now head east into the next block, back towards town. Where I, the Chicken Turtle, Turbo, can be found. My home is the seasonal wetlands on the coastal plain. I like to eat crayfish and other invertebrates. Long ago people used to eat me for food, have a heart! So now it’s uncommon to find me except at friendly Superior Parts.
Turtle 9: Start into the next block but turn down an alley on your right. Around in back is Storage on Main, with big flowers in sight. Find a Hawksbill Sea Turtle called Hope near the main door. They are green due to the body fat that they store. Their fat is green from eating grasses, algae and more. They are endangered, so please don’t kill this herbivore.
Turtle 10: Go back up to Main Street and continue one more block. My historic home, now Coyote Coffee, is where you will stop. Come inside and find much more than coffee. Best of all, you will meet me, the Painted Turtle, Pokey. In clean ponds and grassy marshes I like to swim. The plants and bugs across the land keep me trim.
Turtle 11: Turn right down Pendleton Street to the museum, our old jail. Find me, Sequoyah, the Spotted Turtle, far down the nature trail. I will be in my natural habitat, a bog garden along the walk. I would speak in Cherokee if you could hear me talk. I swim to the bottom of the bog when I am sleepy. I am protected too, so please watch out for me.
Turtle 12: Go back to Main Street to the front of the Courthouse. Find the biggest turtle of them all weighing over 1000 pounds. I’m Henry, the Leatherback Sea Turtle, and I eat Cannonball jelly fish. Remember, I am also on the endangered species list. Females can lay a hundred eggs when they appear on shore. Then they return to the ocean to swim some more.
Turtle 13: I’m the last turtle, Sparky, and I live where people learn. Go back to the fountain, down Jewel Street, and take a left turn. I’m the Eastern Box Turtle and I have a unique trick. Into my shell, my head, feet, and tail, can all stick. I live on land and stay in my shell to keep cool. Find me and finish your Turtle Tour at Pickens Middle School.